Former police captain and whistleblower Moe Yan Naing is set to be released from prison next week after serving almost a year for violating the Police Disciplinary Act with his dramatic courtroom testimony that seemed to exculpate two jailed Reuters journalists, his wife has told Coconuts Yangon.
“He will be released on Jan. 2. He told me that his sentence ended on Dec. 28 but he will come out of jail next year,” Ma Tu Tu said over the phone.
Moe Yan Naing gave key testimony during the trial of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, which revealed a plot to “entrap” the two Reuters reporters by Police Brigadier General Tin Ko Ko, who ordered two police officers to deliver secret documents to the journalists.
The pair were covering the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Northern Rakhine during the brutal military campaign in August 2017 that drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh.
In photographs taken before the massacre — included in the Reuters report but little reported since — the former police captain can be seen walking in the background, with a rifle slung over his shoulder.
Despite the knowledge of Moe Yan Naing’s presence at the scene of the massacre and his potential involvement, journalists, rights defenders and free speech advocates have praised him for his bravery and for speaking truth to power.
On Dec. 22, PEN Myanmar presented Moe Yan Naing with an “Outstanding Protector of Freedom of Expression” award to recognize his staunch defense of the truth despite the consequences.
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