Valuing freedom of the media as a key to the development of democracy and society, the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) condemns the arrests and any threats to journalists in Myanmar. Any interference in the work of journalists must not be done.
The TJA also calls for the safe release of all the arrested journalists.
Amid the political turmoil in Myanmar, many journalists have been arrested or targeted for arrest since the civilian government was overthrown in a military coup on 1 February 2021.
As of 21 March, a total of 43 journalists had been arrested or targeted for arrest, according to Detained Journalists Information Myanmar, a Facebook group run by journalists and writers.
Some have been released while many others are still detained at unidentified locations. Their conditions are still unknown.
In the meantime, the military has also revoked the licences of five media companies.
On 19 March, BBC Burmese Service reporter Aung Thura was taken away with another reporter, Than Htike Aung, who works for the local news organisation Mizzima. Mizzima's operating licence was revoked by the military government earlier this month.
The BBC confirmed the release of its reporter on 22 March, without giving further details.
According to Myanmar Now, Aung Thura was snatched by unidentified men, believed to be police or soldiers in civilian clothes, from outside the Dekkhina District court.
He was kept awake during three days and nights of interrogation. He was asked if he was in contact with any supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement or members of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which was formed by elected lawmakers who were unable to take their seats because of the coup, Myanmar Now reported.
Aung Thura said the authorities had also gained access to files on Than Htike Aung’s devices, according to Myanmar Now.
Than Htike Aung, as well as many others, have not been released.
The TJA hereby reiterates its strong support to the respect of the rule of law and human rights as well as the freedom of the press. It also calls on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and
seek a peaceful solution through constructive dialogue and practical reconciliation.
The Thai Journalists Association