avatar for Lawi Weng

Lawi Weng

The Irrawaddy
seinor journalist
Yangon/ Myanmar
Lawi Weng, an ethnic Mon journalist from Myanmar, was one of three reporters arrested by the Myanmar Army on June 26, 2017, as he returned from a documentation trip to the front line of the country’s long-running civil war. While in the conflict area, Lawi Weng had covered a drug eradication event held by ethnic Ta’ang rebels, and had witnessed a fatal clash between the Ta’ang and state forces.

Charged under Article 17(1) of the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act, Lawi Weng and his colleagues spent two months and six days in jail, accused of supporting the Ta’ang armed group. Their case drew the attention of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the international media. The three journalists were released on bail on September 1 after the Myanmar Army withdrew their case; the court officially dropped all charges against them two weeks later.

For the past nine years, Lawi Weng has worked at Myanmar news outlet The Irrawaddy, where he reports in English on ethnic conflict and politics. Before returning to his home country in 2013, he lived and reported in exile for five years from Thailand, writing on human rights abuses being carried out in Myanmar’s ethnic states. He has also reported extensively on anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar and has traveled multiple times to Rakhine State, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have recently fled to Bangladesh amidst grave and widespread allegations of military abuses.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, November 16

15:45 PST