Myanmar charges 3 journalists over report criticizing government

Three journalists from a local media group in Myanmar were arrested on Wednesday and charged with violating a law against publishing a report deemed to intentionally alarm the public.

Editors from the Yangon-based Eleven Media Group -- Ko Nayi Min, Ko Kyaw Zaw Linn and Ko Phyo Wai Win -- were charged with violating section 505 (B) of the penal code, which prohibits the publication or circulation of any statement, rumour or report, with intent to cause "fear or alarm to the public", Efe news reported.

The trio face up to two years in prison if found guilty.

The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners said vague terms like "offence against the state" and "public tranquility" leave this section of the law open to abuse by authorities.

The Eleven Media Group editors were charged over an article published on Monday which accused the regional authorities of misusing public funds in relation to the purchase of school buses.

The group was sent to the same jail where Reuters journalists Ko Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were imprisoned following their trial that ended in September.

The agency journalists' were convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act while working on an investigative article on the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys in a village in Rakhine last year.