Nava J Thakuria
Geneva: Appreciating the release of three digital media workers in Myanmar recently, the global media safety & rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) maintains its demand to the Burmese junta for unconditional release of all detained journalists in the south-east Asian country. The military rulers of Myanmar (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh) detained over 125 scribes since 1 February 2021 military coup that deposed the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi-led government in Naypietaw and over 40 are still behind the bars.
The Min Aung Hlaing-led military junta (also known as Tatmadaw) arrested two reporters (Ko Zaw and Ma Moe Myint) along with a graphic designer (Ko Thar Gyi) from Dawei, the headquarter of Tanintharyi region in southern Myanmar, on 18 January and all of them have been released on 25 January. They work for DaweiWatch Burmese news portal, which primarily covers socio-political events taking place in the southern localities of Myanmar.
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PEC’s south-east Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that the military personnel also raided the portal office and seized some documents. DaweiWatch employees were also interrogated in custody for various information before their release. Mentionable is that the portal recently reported about the worsening human rights situation in Tanintharyi region as over 50 civilians were killed and nearly 900 were imprisoned in the last 11 months.
“The junta not only threatened the media with brutal laws, but at least three Burmese journalists lost their lives because of its atrocities. 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 and Khonumthung news agency editor Pu Tui Dim died in military firing on 9 January,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC.