Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign, the global media safety and rights body, denounces the Myanmar (Burma/Brahmadesh) junta for continue jailing scribes as Yangon-based freelance journalist Ah Hla Lay Thuzar was recently sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour by a military court. PEC maintains its demand to release all detained and imprisoned journalists by the Min Aung Hlaing-led military regime in the southeast Asian nation.
Ms Thuzar was convicted by a court inside Insein prison on 22 November for causing fear, spreading false news and agitating crimes against a government employee under section 505 (a) of the penal code, said a report by Mizzima news. She was arrested from Yangon on 1 September last year and detained in Insein prison. Remaining in the profession for nearly 15 years, Thuzar worked for Friday Time Journal, Modern Journal, RFA News, 7 Days News Media, etc.
“We were relieved a few days back when the imprisoned Japanese journalist-filmmaker Toru Kubota along with 6,000 political prisoners were released under a mass amnesty by the military generals. But it was perhaps a trick as thousands of journalists, activists, political workers, etc are still behind the bars. Naypietaw must work sincerely to release them at the earliest,” Blaise Lempen, president of PEC.
PEC’s south & southeast Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that over 140 journalists have been detained since the military coup in February 2021. Over 40 local journalists and 13,000 political prisoners are living under military custody. Moreover, the generals continued harassing the media fraternity and a large number of media outlets faced the junta crackdown. Many have already closed their offices and shifted to hideouts (including neighbouring countries) for their committed operation.