Relatives of detained Myanmar Now reporter express concern about her condition

Relatives of a Myanmar Now journalist who has been in detention for nearly three months say they are growing increasingly worried about her well-being.

Kay Zon Nway, who was arrested in late February while reporting on an anti-coup protest in Yangon, has been charged with incitement under Section 505a of the Penal Code. She faces a three-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Family members say they have been denied permission to meet with her and are concerned that her health may be at risk due to harsh conditions inside Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison, where she is being held.

“She has been suffering from nervous-system problems, so I am sure she has not been well,” said a relative who spoke to Myanmar Now on condition of anonymity.

“I heard she is angry, distressed, and hurt because she believes she has not committed any crime,” the relative added, citing reports that the family has received from prisoners who met the reporter prior to their own release.  

“She asked the released prisoners she met in jail to tell us that she could not sleep at night because of the heat and mosquitoes,” the relative said.

Kay Zon Nway previously shared a cell with several inmates, but she was separated from them late last month after she was accused of staging a hunger strike. According to her lawyer Nilar Khine, she was actually fasting for Ramadan.

She is currently being held in an 8’x12’ cell with one other female inmate. 

Her family has been sending medication to help her deal with gastric and nervous ailments, the relative said.

No one in the family has seen her since March 12, when she appeared online briefly during a court hearing held via video link. 

Her next hearing, which will be held at a prison court in Insein, is scheduled for June 3. 

The plaintiff in the case is deputy police major Win Naing from the Sanchaung police station in Yangon. Testimony from witnesses for the prosecution will be presented at the hearing, her lawyer said. 

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 48 journalists are still in detention since being arrested in the wake of the military’s February 1 coup.  


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