Malaysian, Singaporean journalists jailed in Myanmar face extra charge

Myanmar police have charged a Singaporean journalist Lau Hon Meng (on the left) and his Malaysian colleague Mok Choy Lin (on the right) for allegedly using a drone to take pictures near the parliament compound. — Picture courtesy of Newswatchjournal Fac
Myanmar police have charged a Singaporean journalist Lau Hon Meng (on the left) and his Malaysian colleague Mok Choy Lin (on the right) for allegedly using a drone to take pictures near the parliament compound. — Picture courtesy of Newswatchjournal Fac

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — A Malaysian and a Singaporean journalist jailed by Myanmar over a bid to operate a drone over the Parliament building in Naypyidaw could face further prosecution over the incident, according to The Straits Times.

The report said that if the new charge under the country’s immigration laws is accepted by a Myanmar court, the  journalists would face trial for allegedly breaching two additional laws.

Malaysian documentary producer Mok Choy Lin, 47, Singaporean cameraman Lau Hon Meng, 43, along with their local translator Aung Naing Soe and driver Hla Tin, were sentenced to two months' jail each on November 10 for breaching the country's Aircraft Act.

It is understood that immigration officials were attempting to prosecute Lau and Mok for breaching Myanmar's 1947 Immigration Act for bringing the remotely operated aerial drone into the country.

The court is expected to decide on whether to proceed with this new charge during the next hearing on December 4, the report added.

Under Myanmar's Export and Import Law, anyone who exports or imports restricted, prohibited or banned goods can be jailed for up to three years and fined.

Myanmar's Immigration Act states that anyone who, after legal entry, remains in the country in contravention of rules can be jailed for up to five years and fined.

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