PEC expresses concern over arrest of Burmese journalists

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Nava Thakuria

Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expresses concern over the arrest of two more online journalists in Myanmar (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh) by the military rulers, who are currently facing an armed offensive from different anti-junta rebel groups in various parts of the southeast Asian nation.

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The media outlets in Yangon (Rangoon) reported that the military forces had picked up Aung San Oo and Myo Myint Oo, who are associated with Tanintharyi Weekly Journal (published by Dawei Watch media group) from their residences in Dawei locality of southern Myanmar. Their computers and mobile phones were also confiscated by security personnel after the midnight raid on Monday.

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“It’s unfortunate that the media persons in Myanmar continue to face harassment from the military regime in Naypyitaw since long back. We urge the authorities to release all the working journalists as they did only their duties. In any circumstances, journalism must not be treated as a crime,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/).

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PEC’s Asian regional representative Nava Thakuria informs that since the present batch of military dictators grabbed power after a coup on 1 February 2021, no less than 150 media workers have been arrested, and some of them even imprisoned under various fictitious laws. To date, nearly 50 journalists are behind bars waiting for trials in the military courts. A number of media outlets were already closed down, and most of the journalists had left the country to escape the military atrocities.

(Nava Thakuria is a senior Indian journalist who contributes to various media outlets including print and digital platforms of India and across the world.)

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