Former editor-in-chief Mizzima News, Myo Thant was arrested yesterday, Thursday, 16 September 2021 in Kangye Htaung, a township in southwestern Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River delta region, according to a press release by Reporters without Borders (RSF).
The Channel Mandalay news agency meanwhile confirmed that one of its journalists, Win Naing Oo, was arrested with his wife on 31 August.
His arrest came to light as a result of an official report that he had been charged under section 505(a) of the penal code, under which the dissemination of information contrary to the interests of the armed forces is punishable by three years in prison. He is being held incommunicado at a detention centre in Sint Kaing, a township in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city.
RSF states that the arrests of Win Naing Oo and Myo Thant sadly illustrate the extreme brutality with which Myanmar’s military treats journalists, pursuing them, pressuring their relatives and holding them incommunicado. Their names have joined a list that keeps on growing. It is high time the international community reacted to the situation by imposing targeted sanctions on the ruling junta’s leaders.
According to RSF’s tally, a total of 53 professional journalists, two non-professional journalists and a media worker are currently imprisoned in Myanmar. In the past seven and a half months, since the coup d’état on 1 February, Myanmar has become the world’s second biggest jailer of journalists.
Arresting journalists anywhere in the world is an act against democracy. Therefore we must fight together.
The arrests and detentions are a suppression of freedom of expression and journalistic work. Journalistic work, cannot be categorized as a crime.
Save journalists, free Myo Thant!!!
With full solidarity
Jafar G Bua – Indonesian Journalist