Violation of Media Freedom in February 2024

March 5, 2024

Violation of Media Freedom in February 2024

In February 2021, there were two specific cases of violation of media freedom–one deceased and one arrested case in the previous month–reflecting the continuous pattern of restriction on Myanmar’s independent media. 

To impose a more systematic measure and restriction on the flow of information and to discredit news conducted by independent media, the military junta has established a new committee consisting of several union-level deputy ministers (such as the Junta’s Home Affairs Ministry and Information Ministry) in the last month of 2023. 

With the support backed by this committee and the regime, pro-military lobbies and social media accounts on different platforms are continuing to harm the reputation of news media outlets and journalists as a propaganda tactic to picture journalists as national traitors.

A former journalist, who had worked for several local media outlets and was recently working as a volunteer in a social welfare association, was arrested in the last week of December 2023 in a city from the Northern Shan State. 

The arrest case has not been reported or published since the very days due to the potential measure that could be imposed by the junta’s controlled count as well as for his security concerns.

According to the source, he was allegedly accused of having contacts with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and was reported to the military’s security forces. For that reason, he was prosecuted under sections 505A and 505(b) of the Penal Code which imprisoned him for three years behind bars on 24 February 2024.

Phoe Thiha (aka Myat Thu Tun), a former journalist, was shot to death by the military soldiers in the station of (378) military custody located in the Western Rankine’s Mrauk-U township on 31 January 2024.

Despite his retirement from the journalism field five years ago, without having a specific reason or accusation, he was arrested on 20 September 2022 at his home in Mrauk-U and the soldiers ransacked the house. 
After one year, four months, and eleven days, he was shot to death along with six other political prisoners in Rakhine State.