Myanmar’s military regime has killed at least three journalists since December, an international media body said on Friday.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) identified the slain journalists as Sai Win Aung, Pu Tuidim and Soe Niang.
“The IFJ strongly condemns the continued violence against media workers in Myanmar and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice immediately,” the group said in a report.
Sai Win Aung, editor for the Federal News Journal, was killed in an attack by military forces last month while reporting on refugees in Kayin state’s Myawaddy township, near the border with Thailand.
“Sai Win Aung, also known as A Sai K, was fatally shot by Myanmar’s armed forces, the Tatmadaw, in an artillery attack against members of the resistance group the People’s Defense Force (PDF),” the report said.
Pu Tuidim, a founder of media collective Burma News International (BNI) and Chin news outlet the Khonumthung Media Group, “was abducted, along with at least nine others, in the Matupi Township of Myanmar’s Chin State by members of the military’s 140 Infantry Battalion” on Jan. 6 or 7, according to the IFJ.
“The bodies of the abductees, including Pu Tuidim, were found on Jan. 9, with the journalist reported to have been killed on Jan. 8,” the report said.
The citizens were “said to have been captured and used as human shields” as junta forces passed along a “route prone to improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.”
“The military had been clashing in the area with members of the anti-government Chinland Defense Force (CDF) since Jan. 6. A CDF spokesperson said that once the military had navigated the road, all hostages were systemically shot dead,” the report said.
The third journalist was freelance photographer Soe Niang, who was “murdered on Dec. 14 after four days of torture,” according to the IFJ.
The brutal killings of journalists “simply for doing their jobs as members of the media, display the military junta’s blatant silencing of critical voices and disregard for press freedom,” the IFJ said.
The report said Myanmar’s junta has arrested more than 100 journalists, many of whom remain in custody, since it seized power on Feb. 1 last year by deposing the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to the Myanmar-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the military junta has killed nearly 1,500 people and arrested almost 11,700 over the past year.
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