Military arrests Sagaing-based DVB journalist

December 15th, 2021  •  Author:   Ko Aung San Lin (Sagaing-based DVB journalist)  •  3 minute read
Featured image

Riot police advance on a street as members of the press take photos during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on February 26 (EPA)

Aung San Lin was allegedly beaten and taken from his home in Wetlet Township 

By Myanmar Now

A reporter for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) living in Sagaing Region’s Wetlet Township was arrested by the military over the weekend, the Myanmar-based media outlet reported.

Family members and friends of 44-year-old reporter Aung San Lin say they have not received any update on his condition or whereabouts.

Some 20 soldiers in two vehicles arrived at Aung San Lin’s house in Pin Zin village at midnight on December 11 and reportedly took him into junta custody.

An officer from the Wetlet Township Information Committee, which has been reporting news on the anti-dictatorship movement, told Myanmar Now that the journalist was sent to the Shwebo police station the day after his initial arrest; Wetlet is in Shwebo District.

“He is not allowed to meet his family,” the officer said.

It is not known if Aung San Lin was still being detained in Shwebo at the time of reporting or if he had been taken elsewhere.

Myanmar Now tried to contact the Wetlet Township central police station for further information but all calls went unanswered.

Aung San Lin had been reporting locally on Wetlet for DVB for more than four years, according to a report by the news organisation on Monday, noting that he had continued his work despite the junta’s ongoing arrests of journalists and activists nationwide.

According to DVB, the soldiers who arrested Aung San Lin also beat him and looked through his phone.

The news agency speculated that he may have been targeted because of his recent updates on the activities of the pro-military Pyu Saw Htee network. Aung San Lin had reported that members of the group in Wetlet had allegedly torched three homes on December 10 in Kyaukkone village. The homes belonged to supporters of the National League for Democracy, whose elected government was ousted in Myanmar’s February coup.

Three other DVB reporters—Aung Kyaw, Min Nyo and Thet Naing Win—had previously been arrested by the junta and sentenced to up to three years in prison for incitement after being accused of spreading “fake news,” but were released on October 18.

After the coup, the military council revoked the publishing licenses of nine news agencies including DVB, Yangon Khit Thit, 7 Day, Delta News Agency, Mizzima, Myanmar Now, 74 Media, Myitkyina News Journal and Tachileik News Agency.

More than 100 journalists have been detained by the military council in the 10 months since the coup, according to both local and international reports.

Charges against them include allegations that they violated the Counterterrorism Law or Section 505a of the Penal Code for incitement.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported in early December that at least 26 journalists were still being detained by the junta, making Myanmar the country with the second largest number of jailed reporters globally.

Original Post: Myanmar Now