Police raid weekly Myanmar Nation, close it down and arrest editor and manager
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||18 February 2008|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Police raid weekly Myanmar Nation, close it down and arrest editor and manager, 18 February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47bea84e1c.html [accessed 4 May 2015]|
Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association condemn the arrest of Myanmar Nation editor, Thet Zin, and his office manager, U Sein Win Maung, on the evening of 15 February in Rangoon. Police detained them during a raid on the weekly, which they closed down after finding documents. Thet Zin, 41, has heart and lung ailments.
"The military junta's promises of a democratic transition must not divert attention from the continuing crackdown on journalists and government opponents", the two organisations said. "These latest arrests of two people in charge of a privately-owned newspaper, without any justification being offered, are evidence of the junta's desire to keep the news under complete control and to instill fear in journalists".
The two organisations added: "We appeal to UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari to condemn the arrest of these two Myanmar Nation journalists, which could be linked to the presence in the newspaper's offices of a copy of a report by his UN colleague, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro".
Thet Zin and U Sein Win Maung were arrested when police and intelligence officers carried out a four-hour search of the offices of the Myanmar Nation and confiscated many documents, including a copy of Pinheiro's report, videos of last October's anti-government street protests, and poems. The two journalists were taken to the headquarters of the interior ministry.
"I don't know why they were arrested and I am very worried", said Thet Zin's wife, Khin Swe Myint, a former political prisoner. She was able to see her husband on 18 February. He reportedly told her that he will be transferred to Insein prison on 19 February and that he will face a possible 10-year prison sentence although he does not know what he is charged with.
The police searched the premises of the Myanmar Nation again on 18 February, confiscating more documents. The offices continue to be closed by the police, who have said the arrests of the two journalists are linked to their activities.
Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association call on the authorities to provide information on the situation of the following journalists and writers, who were arrested in recent months : Nobel Aye, a journalist with Reader's World Journal who was arrested in August 2007 ; Lay Lay Mon, a writer with Teen Magazine ; Min Han, a poet held since 2 January in Insein prison ; Nay Htet Naing, a poet held since 2 January in Insein prison ; and Ko Ko Maung, a poet also known as Zaw Lu Sein.