Burmese authorities arrested three local journalists on incitement charges on Wednesday, October 10, after the publication of an article perceived as being critical towards the regional government of Yangon. The journalists are currently in jail; a hearing at the Tamwe Township court in Yangon is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 17. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the court during the October 17 hearing; related gatherings are also possible near the court. Any such demonstrations are likely to be forcibly dispersed by the authorities given the ongoing ban on public gatherings.
The civilian-led administration is increasingly perceived by the political opposition and the international community as cracking down on the media and freedom of expression. Notably, two journalists were sentenced to seven years in jail in September for violating Myanmar's Official Secrets Act during an investigation of a Rohingya massacre.
Individuals in Myanmar, and particularly those in Yangon, are advised to closely monitor related developments, avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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