The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US-based media advocacy organisation, has strongly condemned the lawless detention of the Unity Journal's CEO and four reporters and is demanding their immediate release.
The CPJ’s call on Monday came as it was learned that the detainees -CEO Tin San and reporters Lu Maw Naing, Yazar Oo, Paing Thet Kyaw and Si Thu Soe - will likely be charged under the Burma Official Secrets Act, making it harder to secure their release through bail. The group was detained on Saturday for questioning related to the journal’s coverage of a secret weapons factory.
“Charging the reporters under the official secrets act is proof that Myanmar lacks legal reforms. Producing weapons is a major issue for Myanmar’s political optics, and it is also internationally significant. Therefore, it should be no surprise that reporters would write stories on this. Reporters should not be threatened or detained nowadays,” said Shawn Crispin, senior representative for the Southeast Asian chapter of the CPJ.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an American independent non-profit organisation, based in New York City, that promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.