Myanmar military acts against reporters
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.