Hla Hla Win

Sentence: 
27 years
Charges: 
Electronics Act, Import/Export Act
Date of Birth: 
29 August 1984
Prison: 
Kathar

 

 

 

Age: 26
Ethnicity: Burmese
Religion: Buddhist
Education: University, 2nd year (Economics)
Occupation: DVB VJ, teacher
Arrest date: 11 September 2009
Sentence date: 21 December 2009

Hla Hla Win was first arrested in September 2009, close to the anniversary of the 2007 monk-led uprising, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. She had been detained under the Import/Export Act for using an unregistered motorbike.

The arrest took place as she was returning from a DVB reporting assignment in Pakokku township, Magwe division, where she had conducted interviews with Buddhist monks in a local monastery. Her assistant, Myint Naing, was also arrested, and eventually given a 26-year sentence.

During the first weeks of her seven year sentence, she was interrogated and eventually admitted to being a DVB reporter. On 20 December 2009  her jail term was extended by 20 years for violating the Electronics Act, which prohibits downloading or uploading data from the internet that is considered damaging to the security of the military regime. This is a tactic often used by the regime to imprison video reporters. She was handed a further 20 years and offered no legal representative.

Hla Hla Win first joined DVB as an undercover reporter in December 2008. She played an active role in covering issues considered sensitive to the government, including the local reaction to the controversial trial in 2009 of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2010, Hla Hla Win received the Kenji Nagai Memorial Award, along with fellow DVB reporter Win Maw, an honour bestowed on Burmese journalists in memory of the Japanese photojournalist shot and killed by Burmese troops while covering the September 2007 monk-led uprising.

She was also a volunteer teacher working in monastic education centres, and a leading organiser of community movements along with her colleagues. She was also an active member of the NLD (Youth) from Thanhyin township in Rangoon.