Burmese junta continues to arrest scribes, PEC condemns military atrocities

“The Burmese junta continues to arrest media workers, raid news-desks and threaten media houses with brutal laws with an aim to silence the media"; Min Aung Hlaing-led military junta has lately arrested two reporters namely Ko Zaw and Ma Moe Myint from Dawe.

Geneva: As the military rulers of Myanmar (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh) continue to arrest scribes in the south-east Asian country, the global media safety & rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) condemns the Burmese junta (also known as Tatmadaw) and demands the unconditional release of all 45 journalists still behind the bars since 1 February 2021 coup that deposed the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi-led government in Naypietaw.

Local media outlets in Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital, reported that the Min Aung Hlaing-led military junta has lately arrested two reporters namely Ko Zaw and Ma Moe Myint from Dawei, the headquarter of Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar, on 19 January 2022. Along with them, a media employee Ko Thar Gyi, who also works for DaweiWatch Burmese news portal (www.daweiwatch.com), was also detained.

Even offices of the media outlet, which primarily covers socio-political events taking place in the southern localities of Myanmar, were also raised by the military personnel and they seized documents as well. The portal lately reported about the worsening human rights situation in Tanintharyi region as over 50 civilians were killed and nearly 900 have been imprisoned since the coup day.

“The Burmese junta continues to arrest media workers, raid news-desks and threaten media houses with brutal laws with an aim to silence the media. It arrested over 125 journalists in the last 11 months. Among them 45 scribes are yet to be released, which is shocking,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch) adding that they must be released and allowed to perform their duties and media workers.

PEC’s south-east Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that three Burmese journalists lost their lives because of military atrocities within 30 days. Freelance photojournalist Ko Soe Naing lost his life on 14 December under military custody. Later journalist Sai Win Aung of FederalNews died of head injuries caused by the Tatmadaw-operated shells on 25 December. Khonumthung news agency editor Pu Tui Dim died in military firing on 9 January last.

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