Tag: Burma

MEDIA: Myanmar junta publishes list of 19 wanted journalists

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By rsf.org

MELBOURNE, 1 May 2021: The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called upon the international community to react to the Myanmar military’s latest attempts to impose complete control over news and information, which have taken a new turn in the past two weeks with the publication of lists of wanted journalists as well as more arbitrary arrests of journalists.
Amid continuing protests against the 1 February coup d’état, the military took their crackdown to a new level on 4 April when they began publishing lists of journalists wanted for providing information about the pro-democracy protests, along with well-known figures wanted for publicly voicing support for the protests.

The latest list of “Those spreading news to affect state stability” is broadcast every evening on TV news programs and is published in the print media. Those named are “charged under Section 505 A” of the penal code, which penalizes the dissemination of information contrary to the interests of the armed forces and carries a possible three-year jail sentence.

At least 19 journalists have been named. They include Mratt Kyaw Thu, a well-known freelancer who recently told RSF about the threat to journalists since the coup, Frontier Myanmar, and VOA columnist Sithu Aung Myint and DVB TV anchor Ye Wint Thu.

Two journalists were added to the list on 17 April: Soe Zaya Tun of Reuters and freelancer Lumin Thuang Tun. Democratic Voice of Burma’s Nay Zaw Naing and freelancer Htoo Kyaw Win had been added three days before that. Along with their names, the authorities provide Facebook account details, profile photos, and addresses.

As well as journalists, the list also includes well-known actors and singers, and social media personalities, who have had to go into hiding or flee the country to avoid arrest. One of the journalists wanted by the military, Myanmar Post editor Zin Thaw Naing, was not so lucky. He was arrested on 5 April.

Arbitrary arrests

“After targeting journalists covering protests, the military has gone a step further and are now brazenly arresting anyone from the media world and anyone daring to contradict the propaganda they are trying to impose on the public,” RSF spokesperson Pauline Adès-Mével said. “It is time the international community reacted. The military authorities must stop violating press freedom in an attempt to hide their worst abuses against civilians from the world.”

The latest journalist to be arrested is Japanese freelancer Yuki Kitazumi, who was arrested yesterday and was taken via a police station to Insein prison, which is notorious for being used to jail media figures.

Even former journalists are now being persecuted. Although they had stopped working after the coup, Thin Thin Aung, the co-founder of the Mizzima news agency, and one of her former employees, James Phu Thoure, were arrested on 8 April and have been held ever since although no charges have been brought against them.

Myo Myat Myat Pan, a former Myitkyina News Journal journalist who had not worked for this outlet since the start of March, was arrested at her home on the evening of 14 April by plainclothes police. According to Reporting Asean’s tally, she is one of the total of 35 journalists currently held in Myanmar, of a total of 65 journalists arrested since 1 February.

Anyone participating in the dissemination of information, not to the liking of the military authorities is exposed to the threat of arbitrary arrest or violence. On 2 April, 11 people were detained at a Yangon market for answering questions by a CNN TV crew which had exceptionally received permission from the military to come and cover the situation in Myanmar. Eight of the 11 were released after three days, but the other three are still being held.

Communications disconnected

Since Gen. Min Aung Hlaing took over, the military authorities have gradually brought all means of communication and information under their control. Privately-owned TV and radio news stations have been suspended. Only entertainment can be broadcast. And satellite dishes that can be used to receive foreign TV news channels have been banned in some regions since the start of March.

Internet access is now only possible via a fixed-line connection and is disconnected every day from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m., posing major problems for transmitting and accessing information in the remoter parts of the country, especially for journalists working there.

Myanmar is ranked 139th out of 180 countries in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index.

Source- rsf.org

Justice For Myanmar : Call to dismantle Myanmar’s military cartel’s business interests and systemic corruption

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Photo- Justice For Myanmar

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, April 28, 2021: Today is the first anniversary of Justice For Myanmar, launched on April 28, 2020, to campaign against the Myanmar military’s extensive business interests and systemic corruption, which enable them to commit crimes against Myanmar people. The campaign was initiated by a covert group of activists working for the protection of rights, equality, justice, and accountability.

Justice For Myanmar is part of a wider movement striving for a better future for Myanmar, where there is a federal democracy, sustainable peace, and the military is divested from the economy, fully under civilian control.

The domestic campaign targeting the military’s businesses has grown exponentially since the illegal Feb. 1, 2021 coup, as military products symbolize the military’s violent oppression, greed, and corruption. A large-scale boycott against items like Mytel SIM cards and Myanmar Beer has caused an unparalleled blow to the military’s bottom line.

The movement against the military’s business networks has spread across the world, and the military is losing its profits. Activists have ramped up campaigns targeting nodes in the military’s business networks, while journalists from around the world have independently exposed the military’s business interests in impactful and detailed investigations.

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Photo- Justice For Myanmar

The pressure has taken a toll on businesses that are linked to the military. Since the coup,

• Targeted sanctions have been imposed on MEHL, MEC, junta leaders, and their family businesses by the US, UK, and EU.

• Kirin Holdings and POSCO C&C have announced an end to their joint ventures with the military.

• Singapore investor Lim Kaling has exited from the military’s tobacco monopoly.

• The Singapore Stock Exchange took regulatory action against a real estate developer leasing land from the army.

• Électricité de France and Woodside Energy have suspended business with the junta.

• Coda Payments and Fortumo, direct carrier billing businesses, cut ties with Mytel.

• The Myanmar junta has been restricted from accessing a Japanese micro-satellite.

• Adani Ports has been removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

• Banks and pension funds in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands are taking action against their military-linked investments.

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Photo-Justice For Myanmar

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “There’s been a fierce and unprecedented move to end military rule that has exploded since the coup, with people across Myanmar risking their lives and livelihoods for a better future, free from military violence and oppression. Despite the terror campaign waged by this military junta against the people of Myanmar, the people will not be silenced or stopped. We honor those whose lives have been robbed, who have sacrificed for this cause, including activists, ethnic freedom fighters, whistle-blowers, public and private sector workers, and journalists. Together, we must and will dismantle the military cartel. Removing the Myanmar military from business is imperative to establish a federal democracy. The military must be pushed back to the barracks where they belong.”

The work of Justice For Myanmar follows the 2019 United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar report, The Economic Interests of the Myanmar Military, which recommended that businesses cut all financial ties with the Myanmar military. Justice For Myanmar aims to ensure that the UN FFM’s recommendations are implemented.