April 13, 2021, Yangon- Journalist Thin Thin Aung was abducted by the state on April 8, and is currently in state custody. Following her detention, the state forces raided her home, seized her belongings, and destroyed all her journalistic work. The state of journalists in Myanmar remains precarious and requires urgent international attention.
On Thursday, April 8, when Thin Thin Aung “disappeared” from public radar, her friends hoped she was in hiding. It became evident a few hours later that she was taken into custody by state forces without any prior warning. Thin Thin Aung is currently being held at the infamous Yay Kyi Eaing interrogation centre. Following her detention, the police also illegally raided Thin Thin Aung’s residence on April 9, where they took control of her belongings including, but not limited to, her car, her bank account, and her personal computer. Before they left, they ensured the destruction of Thin Thin Aung’s journalistic work over the years.
This is not the first time Thin Thin Aung is targeted by the Myanmar state. The first attack she confronted was in the year 1988. During a political upheaval in the city, Thin Thin Aung was forced to cross the Indo-Myanmar border and move to Mizoram. There Thin Thin Aung spent fifteen years in exile. It was in 2012 that Thin Thin Aung was able to return to Myanmar and established herself as a journalist there. Since then she has remained a strong voice, championing democracy and the rights of women.
The Coalition For Women In Journalism is appalled at the state abduction of such a journalist. Thin Thin Aung’s love for her motherland is beyond reproach; any state institution that attempts to silence such a journalist is aware of its own guilt. We demand that Thin Thin Aung be immediately released from state custody, and urge the international media to offer journalists in Myanmar the safety they need.