Myan­mar mil­i­tary acts against re­porters

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

YANGON: Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary opened le­gal pro­ceed­ings yes­ter­day against three jour­nal­ists ac­cused of aid­ing eth­nic mi­nor­ity rebels, po­lice said, com­pound­ing con­cern about the ero­sion or press free­dom as the coun­try tran­si­tions to­wards civil­ian rule.

The three, Aye Nai and Pyae Phone Naing of Demo­cratic Voice of Burma and Lawi Weng, a se­nior re­porter with Ir­rawaddy mag­a­zine, were taken into mil­i­tary cus­tody in Shan State in north-east Myan­mar on Mon­day.

They had cov­ered the burn­ing of some drugs by the rebel Ta’ang Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army, which de­mands more au­ton­omy for the Ta’ang eth­nic group and has clashed with govern­ment troops over the past week. Deputy po­lice in­spec­tor Kyaw Min said the three re­porters, along with three other men, had been brought to po­lice in Hsi­paw town, where they would be im­pris­oned.

The mil­i­tary opened the case un­der Ar­ti­cle 17(1) of the Un­law­ful As­so­ci­a­tion Act, which pro­hibits giv­ing as­sis­tance to banned groups and car­ries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

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