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Myanmar Soldiers, Aiming to Silence Protests, Target Journalists

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“If you are arrested with video clips, you can go to prison,” said U Myint Kyaw, who was secretary of the Myanmar Press Council, an independent advocacy organization for the news media, before quitting in protest in February along with most of the board.

At a recent news conference, a spokesman for the junta said it was up to journalists to avoid behavior that could be construed as breaking the law.

“Only the journalist’s action itself can guarantee that they will not be arrested,” said the spokesman, Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun. “If their actions violate the law, then they will be arrested.” All three journalists who have been shot and wounded say they were targeted by security forces.

The freelance journalist Ko Htet Myat Thu, 24, was taking pictures of protests on Saturday in Kyaikto, a town in southern Myanmar, when a soldier shot him in the leg, he said. A video of his arrest taken by a citizen journalist from a nearby building shows soldiers beating him and forcing him to hop on his good leg as they lead him away.



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