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Wai Moe Naing on trial

October 03, 2022 IN WIP
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Wai Moe Naing is a writer, activist, and member of PEN Myanmar. He began writing as a student, with his first short story being published in Teen Magazine at the age of 13. His writing has since been published in several literary outlets, including Khit Yanantthit Magazine and Pae Tin Tharn Journal. In the immediate aftermath of the military coup, Wai Moe Naing rose to prominence as a leader of the anti-coup protest movement and was among those who popularised the idea of banging pots and pans as a non-violent act of resistance to the military junta’s rule.
Wai Moe Naing faces trial on a charge of high treason. Already serving 10-year prison sentence, he now faces the death penalty if convicted.
For more in-depth information, see PEN International’s report on the case:
TAKE ACTION: Please also send appeals directly to the military junta:
-Calling for Wai Moe Naing’s immediate and unconditional release;
-Urging for the dropping of all charges made against him under the Myanmar Penal Code and other legislation;
-Providing Wai Moe Naing with immediate and unimpeded access to independent legal representation and his family; and
-Calling for an end to the crackdown on all those engaged in peaceful expression in Myanmar.
Appeals directed to the military junta can be sent to:
Dr Thida Oo,
Role: Attorney General of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Address: Building 25, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Telephone: +95 067 404054
Fax: + 95 67 404106

Myanmar: PEN Centres around the world condemn the execution of writer Kyaw Min Yu

PEN Centres around the world are appalled by Monday’s news that writer Kyaw Min Yu (also known as Ko Jimmy) is among four pro-democracy activists who have been executed by the military junta, following a show trial that denied their ability to establish their innocence according to international fair trial norms. According to sources, Kyaw Min Yu’s family have yet to be informed of the specific date that his execution took place.

Despite international appeals calling for their release, the military junta’s decision to carry out the executions, the first to take place in over 30 years, is yet another reminder of the cruel and unrelenting violence that the junta has waged against the people of Myanmar on a daily basis since it seized power on 1 February 2021.

‘By denying the right to appeal and other basic standards necessary for a fair trial, these judicial executions are a cynical attempt to cloak the abhorrent use of lethal force behind a veil of legality. By carrying out these executions, the military junta has once again displayed its murderous intent towards its own citizens, and the open contempt it holds towards its international human rights obligations.

The use of violence to silence Ko Jimmy and others will only increase the resolve of those who continue to use their voices to resist authoritarian rule, allowing their message to spread even further. The PEN community condemns this outrageous act of state violence by the military junta’, said Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

For further information on Kyaw Min Yu’s background and detention, please refer to PEN International’s previous statement.

With over 70 detainees currently now facing the death penalty, the resumption of judicial executions by the military junta represents an abhorrent escalation in the use of violence against those who have been targeted for their peaceful expression. Included among those facing a potential death sentence is writer, pro-democracy activist and PEN Myanmar member, Wai Moe Naing.

We, the undersigned PEN Centres, utterly condemn the military junta’s execution of Kyaw Min Yu and other pro-democracy activists. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those wrongfully detained for their peaceful expression in Myanmar:

  • PEN International
  • PEN Melbourne



For further information please contact Ross Holder, Asia Programme Coordinator at PEN International, Unit A, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, email:

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International