Police in Myanmar Friday arrested two journalists covering the trial of a civilian official ousted in last month’s military takeover as brutal crackdowns on anti-coup protests killed at least 10, sources in Myanmar told RFA.
Aung Thura of the BBC’s Burmese-language service and Than Htike Aung from a local news agency were at a courthouse in the capital Naypyidaw for the trial of Win Htein, a senior official of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party ousted in the military takeover on Feb. 1.
The two journalists were stopped by two men in plainclothes, believed to be security agents. According to the BBC, the men came to the court in an unmarked van, demanding to see the reporters.
The BBC lost contact with Aung Thura after the two reporters were taken away.
“We are extremely concerned about our BBC News Burmese Reporter, Aung Thura, who was taken away by unidentified men,” the BBC said in a statement. It called on authorities to help locate him
Than Htike Aung’s outlet, Mizzima News, is one of five domestic news agencies or newspapers that had operating licenses revoked by the military junta earlier this month.
An RFA tally shows that since the coup, about 40 journalists have been arrested with about half still detained.
Despite an atmosphere of menace and increasing brutality by security forces, protesters returned to the streets Friday in multiple cities in the country of 54 million people, and demonstrations were violently suppressed, with 10 people killed, witnesses and citizens’ social media reports said.
Nine of the 10 fatalities Friday were in the southern Shan state town of Aungban, where witnesses say police opened fire on a group of protesters while trying to clear their makeshift barricade.
Full story: rfa.org
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Eugene Whong.
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