Rory Peck Award Winner Given Thirteen Year Prison Sentence

Monday, 01 February 2010 Written by Rory Peck Trust

Freelance video journalist Ngwe Soe Lin was last week sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Burmese authorities.  He was charged with filming without permission under the Electronics and Video Act, a new law introduced just last year.

28 year old Ngwe Soe Lin, known to the Trust previously as ‘T’, was joint winner (with 'Z') of this year’s Rory Peck Award for Features for Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone, a secretly-filmed documentary that revealed the fate of children orphaned by Cyclone Nargis in 2008. His arrest last June, outside an internet cafe in Rangoon, was not connected to the documentary.

Ngwe Soe Lin works with the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma, a non-profit media organisation dedicated to providing accurate and unbiased news to the people of Burma.  He joins 13 other DVB cameramen who have been jailed by the Burmese authorities since the Saffron Revolution in 2007.

The organisation’s (Thai) Bureau Chief Toe Zaw Latt declared Lin’s long prison sentence unjust.  He said that by handing out such long sentences the government “is giving a clear message to other Burmese reporters that if they do the same, they will be given similar punishment.”

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