Two reporters detained as press crackdown intensifies in Myanmar

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BBC says it’s ‘extraordinarily involved’ after Aung Thura, a journalist from its Burmese-language service, was ‘taken away by unidentified males’.

Two extra journalists had been detained in Myanmar on Friday, a part of the army’s intensifying efforts to choke off details about resistance to final month’s coup.

Mizzima Information reported that considered one of its former reporters, Than Htike Aung, and Aung Thura, a journalist from the BBC’s Burmese-language service, had been detained by males who seemed to be plainclothes safety brokers outdoors a courtroom within the capital of Naypyidaw.

The journalists had been there to cowl authorized proceedings towards Win Htein, a detained senior official from the Nationwide League for Democracy (NLD), the celebration that ran the nation earlier than the takeover.

The coup reversed years of gradual progress in the direction of democracy after 50 years of army rule.

Within the face of persistent strikes and protests towards the takeover, the army has responded with an more and more violent crackdown and efforts to severely restrict the data reaching the surface world.

Anti-coup protesters abandon their makeshift barricade and run as policemen cost in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, March 19, 2021 [AP Photo]

Safety forces have fired on crowds, killing tons of, web entry has been severely restricted, personal newspapers have been barred from publishing, and protesters, journalists and politicians have been arrested in massive numbers.

About 40 journalists have been arrested because the February 1 coup, with roughly half nonetheless in detention.

‘Extraordinarily involved’

On Friday, the BBC’s official press Twitter account launched a press release concerning Aung Thura, asking authorities to “affirm he was secure”.

“We’re extraordinarily involved about our BBC Information Burmese Reporter, Aung Thura, who was taken away by unidentified males,” it stated.

The British broadcaster stated it was doing the whole lot it may to find him.

“We name on the authorities to assist find him and make sure that he’s secure. Aung Thura is an accredited BBC journalist with a few years of reporting expertise masking occasions in Nay Pyi Taw [Naypyidaw],” the BBC stated.

The reporters had been taken into custody a day after Kyi Toe, a spokesman for the NLD, was arrested, in accordance with a Fb submit by Phyo Zeya Thaw, a celebration official.

Kyi Toe had been a important supply of data within the early days following the February 1 coup, after the eliminated civilian authorities’s de facto chief Aung San Suu Kyi and different senior officers had been detained.

The takeover got here the identical day that newly elected lawmakers had been presupposed to take their seats in Parliament.

Amid a crackdown on the press, no privately-owned newspapers had been printed this previous week for the primary time in eight years, following bans and voluntary suspensions.

Restrictions on the web have additionally been in place since shortly after the coup, together with a blockage of cellular web entry. Broadband WiFi service stays accessible, although spotty.

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