Radio Free Asia (RFA) Executive Editor Bay Fang issued the following statement about the release of former Burmese child soldier Aung Ko Htway, who was arrested, charged, and sentenced to prison in 2017 for comments made to RFA about his past experiences. Aung Ko Htway was released from a Yangon prison Friday morning after serving out a sentence of two years and six months for “incitement.”
“Radio Free Asia welcomes the news of Aung Ko Htway’s release, but also wishes to point out that in a country where basic freedoms are protected, authorities would not have been able to charge him in the first place,” Fang said. “Legal protections for both journalists and sources are necessary to enable press freedom and the survival of independent media.”
Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in 9 East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from USAGM.
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