11 July 2024

Yangon, Myanmar – Myanmar junta authorities have arrested two journalists in night raids, their outlet said on Wednesday, as the military cracks down on independent media.

Since toppling Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in 2021, the military has waged a sweeping and bloody campaign against dissent, and at least 170 journalists have since been arrested, according to the United Nations.

Local outlet Dawei Watch said two of its employees were arrested from their homes in the southern city of Dawei around midnight on December 11.

It said their families had been told by the military the two had been arrested for their reporting, and that their laptops and phones had been confiscated.

The military had not told their families where the two were being held, the statement said.

Two journalists and a web designer from Dawei Watch were arrested and briefly held last year, before being released without charge.

The junta has arrested more than 25,000 people since it seized power, according to a local monitoring group.

Myanmar ranks 173 out of 180 in the latest World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

According to the watchdog’s latest figures, 67 journalists and one media worker are currently detained in Myanmar.

In September a Myanmar journalist was jailed for 20 years after being indicted on several charges, including breaching a natural disaster law and a telecommunications law while covering the aftermath of a deadly cyclone.

Several foreign journalists have been detained, including US citizen Danny Fenster, who was jailed for 11 years in 2021, before being pardoned and released days later.

Agence France-Presse