Nava J Thakuria
Geneva: As the year approaches its end, Myanmar continues to be an unsafe country for journalists in particular and pro-democracy activists in general. Soon after the military coup on 1 February last, the south-east Asian nation witnessed the detention of over 120 media workers among whom at least 40 are still behind bars.
Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global safety and media rights body, demands an unconditional release of all imprisoned journalists by the military junta. Lately the PEC expresses serious concern over a recent intentional attack on anti-junta protesters that left many seriously wounded, including a female journalist who was on duty at that moment in the Yangon city.
Media reports from Myanmar (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh) reveal that video journalist Ma Hmu Yandanar Khet Moh Moh Tun, sustained severe injuries as a vehicle was driven over an agitating crowd in Kyimyindaing locality of Yangon. Associated with Myanmar Pressphoto Agency, the female journalist suffered a head injury and still remains in critical condition after the Sunday morning incident.
“It’s already a grave situation in Myanmar and following the imprisonment of pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by the military court in NayPieTaw, the situation may deteriorate more. The Monday verdict against the popular civilian leader can derail the process of reconciliation between the military rulers and political leaders. The country has seemingly arrived at a point of no return,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/).
Various organisations based in Myanmar claim that over 1,300 people were killed by the security forces since the coup ten months back. More than 10,000 anti-junta demonstrators have been arrested. But the protest programs continue in various parts of the country and so thus the military crackdowns. Lately the UN Security Council also called for a cessation of escalating violence against the common Myanmarese.
Speaking to Nava Thakuria, PEC’s south-east Asia representative, a native journalist informed that the Sunday crackdown in Yangon left at least five demonstrators killed besides many others injured. The journalist, who wanted anonymity, also added that family members of the lady journalist have not been allowed to meet her in the hospital and they are clueless about her health, but only expecting that she is alive.