Accessibility links

Breaking News

Two Journalists Arrested in Southern Myanmar   

A portion of the English version of Dawei Watch's home page.
A portion of the English version of Dawei Watch's home page.

Myanmar’s military arrested two journalists from a local online news site, the outlet announced Wednesday, marking the junta’s latest crackdown on press freedom since launching a coup almost three years ago.

Aung San Oo and Myo Myint Oo, who work for the news site Dawei Watch, were arrested late Monday night at their homes in the southern coastal city of Myeik, according to a Facebook post from the outlet.

The journalists were arrested shortly after returning home from hiding, the outlet’s editor told The Associated Press. The editor added that security forces had told family members the journalists were arrested over their reporting.

Police confiscated phones and laptops from the journalists and their family members, and the reporters were being held at an interrogation center, the outlet said.

In the statement, Dawei Watch called the arrests illegal and called for the journalists to be immediately released.

"Writing news is not a crime,” the statement said.

These two arrests underscored the Myanmar military’s brutal crackdown on journalists in the country since the February 2021 coup.

Few journalists continue to operate inside the country because of safety risks. Many have fled Myanmar and report from exile, while others have stopped reporting entirely.

The country ranks among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. As of December 2022, the last time the press freedom group reported the figures, 42 journalists were jailed in Myanmar.

On top of the journalist jailings, nearly 20,000 people are currently jailed in Myanmar for resisting the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, and more than 4,200 people have been killed by the junta and its affiliates since the coup.

VOA’s Burmese Service contributed to this report. Some information came from The Associated Press.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.