June 18, 2021

Thai Police detain three journalists who had fled Burma

Bangkok, May 11. (EFE) .- Three Burmese journalists from a channel outlawed by the military junta were arrested in neighboring Thailand, where they had fled after the military coup, and are facing deportation for alleged illegal entry.

Reporters from the DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) channel were arrested on Sunday along with two Burmese activists during a raid in the northern city of Chiang Mai, from where they apparently continued to broadcast news via the internet.

A Chiang Mai police officer told Efe that those arrested had allegedly entered Thailand illegally through the porous border shared by both countries and that they are expected to be brought before a court today.

DVB editor-in-chief Aye Chan Naing called on the Thai authorities not to deport the detained journalists to Burma, where “their lives are in serious danger”, and called for the intervention of United Nations representatives to protect the journalists.

“(The journalists) had been covering the demonstrations in Burma until March 8, the day the military junta revoked DVB’s television license and prohibited the outlet from carrying out any informational work,” the editor-in-chief said in a statement.

The Burmese military junta, which took power on February 1, has detained at least 40 journalists, issued arrest warrants for a score, withdrawn the licenses of dozens of media and continues its persecution of those who report on the demonstrations in rejection of the military uprising.

Most Burmese journalists now live in hiding inside and outside Thailand as the Burmese media continues to report daily on the repression of the security forces in the country.

Soldiers and police brutally suppress protests and even shoot to kill protesters.

At least 781 people have lost their lives in Burma in the response to the demonstrations, according to figures from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) which also reports that 3,843 people continue to be detained by the military, including the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese Army justifies the coup by alleged electoral fraud in the elections last November, in which Suu Kyi’s party was destroyed, as it did in 2015, and which were considered legitimate by international observers.


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