Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, demands justice to Myanmar photographer Aye Kyaw, who died in military custody recently. The pro-democracy activist used to document the anti-military protest-demonstrations, spread across the southeast Asian country (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh) after the military dictators made a coup on 1 February 2021 to grab power ousting the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in Naypietaw.
Aye Kyaw (48), the second journalist to succumb to junta atrocities, used to own a photography studio in Sagaing city, was detained by the military junta in late night hours of 30 July 2022 and later the military authority informed the family that he died on Saturday noon.
Quoting the family members and friends, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that the administration wanted to know if they want to get back his body, which was kept in the Sagaing city hospital morgue. The group of well-wishers took his mortal remains and sent to his village. A senior member of Upper Myanmar Photography Association was buried on Sunday after performing necessary rituals. They guess that the senior general Min Aung Hlaing led brutal military regime was angry with Aye Kyaw as he used to post photographs taken from anti-junta demonstrations in social media, which was later forwarded by a large number of pro-democracy politicians and also uploaded in local media outlets.
“Myanmar has faced a chaotic socio-political situation, where the military rulers are targeting the activists and also the journalists. Till date, they have arrested over 130 media persons and among them 25 Burmese journalists are still behind the bars, where some of them were already imprisoned for longer periods,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch), adding that a Japanese journalist Toru Kobuto was also detained from Yangon and put him to face trials.
PEC’s southeast Asia representative Nava Thakuria reported that the land of golden pagodas is on the verge of a civil war, where the military personnel have killed nearly 2500 civilians in the last 18 months and rendered over 850,000 people homeless, as they fled their villages to escape the military atrocities. Shockingly, the people’s resistance forces have also eliminated thousands of junta soldiers and their relatives during the same period, he added.