Regime Arrests Dawei Journalists

By Network Media Group
Monday, January 24, 2022

The junta arrested two Dawei Watch journalists and an office worker at their homes and later searched the media organisation’s office seizing papers and other documents in the southern Burma region of Taninthari.

“Some journalists and other staff have gone into hiding after the Burma Army raided Dawei Watch,” said a political activist living in the town. Many haven’t worked since the 1 February coup, but soldiers are still arresting them during a crackdown that appears to have switched from targeting youth in Dawei indiscriminately, the source told NMG.

The forces first arrested Ma Moe Myint in Talai Htein ward. Reporter Zaw and Phyo Pyae Lay Lwin (also known as Thar Gyi) were later picked up in Wel Kyun ward. No one, including their families have heard from them or know where they have been taken.

The junta has arrested 110 journalists, of whom at least 46 are still behind bars and 3 have been murdered in custody.

Freelance journalist Ma Nyein Nyein Aye (also known as Maybel) has been missing for over a week, prompting her family and friends to fear that the regime has arrested her. Before the coup, she worked for Kumudra Journal and The Standard Times newspaper.

In early December, the armed forces arrested photojournalist Soe Naing for photographing a small demonstration in Yangon to mark International Human Rights Day. The young man was tortured to death in an interrogation centre.

In the same month, Sai Win Aung, also known as A Sai K, was killed by a gun during an artillery attack on Karen National Union-controlled Lay Kay Kaw in Myawaddy District of Karen State, where he was reporting for the Federal Journal.

In early January, the armed forces murdered veteran journalist Pu Tuidim and ten civilians after abducting them and using them as human shields during fighting with resistance groups in Matupi Township, Chin State. He founded the Khonumthong Media Group and was a founding member of Burma News International, which includes NMG.

According to the RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, Burma is ranked 140 out of 180 countries, down from 120 in 2021. RSF noted at the end of 2021 that a record number of journalists were imprisoned worldwide. After China, Burma has the most journalists imprisoned.