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Violation of Media Freedom in January 2024

February 15th, 2024  •  Author:   Athan - Freedom of Expression Activist Organization  •  2 minute read
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February 15, 2024

Shin Dawe, a freelance filmmaker, was arrested in North Okkalapa, Yangon, on 15 October 2023 while she was collecting her filming drone from an online pre-order.

After the arbitrary arrest and brutal persecution in the military interrogation centre for a week, she was sentenced to life imprisonment under the combination of two lawsuits of section 50(j) and section 54(d) of the Counter Terrorism Law in Insein prison on 10 January 2024. She is the first female journalist and filmmaker to be convicted of life imprisonment at the beginning of 2024.

The first life imprisonment of a journalist was toward a freelance journalist, Kyaw Aung Aka Min Min, who was charged under section 54 of the Counter Terrorism Act on December 28, 2022.

Htet Aung, a journalist from Development Media Group (DMG), was prosecuted under a new lawsuit, section 52(a) of the Counter Terrorism Act in Sittwe, Rakhine State, on 5 January 2024.

Htet Aung was arrested at an almsgiving event of the Thadingyut Festival in Sittwe, Rakhine State, by the junta security forces.

After he was arrested, the Junta’s security forces pressured him to disclose the location of the DMG’s office, where he was working, and the office was confiscated on 29 October 2023.

On 31 January 2024, the military group released an announcement that required the renewal of the license on the printing, publishing and news media enterprise after 60 days of expiry with the payment of 10,000 MMKs. According to the announcement, legal actions will be taken against any news media agencies holding expired licenses and punished according to the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Law.

The license of two publishing houses, Toemyit (တိုးမြစ်) and Lapyae Lin (လပြည့်လင်း) Publishing, were revoked by the military junta’s ministry of information on 27 January 2024.

The junta accused these publishing houses violated section 8(b) of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Law, which punishes “show things which can harass national security, rules of law, public order or the rights of every citizen such as equality, freedom and balance of law”.

Nationwide incident Since the Attamped Coup (Arrest Based On Region)

Monitoring media repression in Myanmar

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