Amnesty calls for ur­gent ac­tion to be taken over death threats to Jour­nal­ist

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS - Mizzima

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional has called for ur­gent ac­tion to be taken af­ter jour­nal­ist Nay Min Aung (known as Min Min) re­ceived death threats af­ter pub­lish­ing an ar­ti­cle about an armed eth­nic group op­er­at­ing in Rakhine State, Myan­mar. In a state­ment on 24 April the or­gan­i­sa­tion called for au­thor­i­ties to take im­me­di­ate steps to en­sure Min Min’s pro­tec­tion, in­ves­ti­gate the threats against him and hold those re­spon­si­ble to ac­count.

Nay Min Aung, has been re­ceiv­ing death threats and in­tim­i­dat­ing mes­sages via Face­book since 10 April 2017. The threats be­gan af­ter he pub­lished an ar­ti­cle on 10 April about the ar­rest of ac­tivists al­legedly con­nected to the Arakan Army (AA), which he de­scribed as a rebel group. The AA is an armed eth­nic or­ga­ni­za­tion, based in Kachin State but also op­er­at­ing in Rakhine State, which reg­u­larly clashes with the Myan­mar mil­i­tary. It re­jects be­ing la­belled as a rebel group. One mes­sage reads “At­ten­tion Min Min, we know where you are. We can ter­mi­nate your life any­time. Take care”. Min Min has re­ported the threats to the Sit­twe town­ship po­lice sta­tion and has re­quested a meet­ing with se­nior mem­bers of the Rakhine State gov­ern­ment. How­ever, to date no ac­tion has been taken, ei­ther to en­sure his safety or to iden­tify the per­pe­tra­tors.

Min Min is the founder and Chief Edi­tor of Root In­ves­tiga­tive Agency (RiA), a col­lec­tive of jour­nal­ists es­tab­lished in 2015 to re­port on cur­rent af­fairs in Rakhine State. The or­ga­ni­za­tion cov­ers a range of sen­si­tive sub­jects, in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion among lo­cal of­fi­cials, the drug trade, na­tion­al­ist groups and armed con­flict.

This is not the first time Min Min has been tar­geted in con­nec­tion with his jour­nal­is­tic ac­tiv­i­ties. On 10 March 2016, a small bomb ex­ploded at his home in Sit­twe, the Rakhine State cap­i­tal. No one was in­jured, as Min Min and his fam­ily were trav­el­ling at the time, how­ever the blast dam­aged the walls of his house. The at­tack fol­lowed a se­ries of on­line threats against Min Min, some of which ac­cused him of be­ing a “traitor” for re­port­ing about hard­line na­tion­al­ist groups in Rakhine State, of­fered a cash re­ward for his mur­der and iden­ti­fied the lo­ca­tion of his home. De­spite a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in to the at­tack, to date no one has been ar­rested or held to ac­count.

KNU fighter at KNU head­quar­ters. Photo: Mizzima

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