Police officers searched the Eleven Media offices on Tuesday evening searching for three journalists over incitement charges. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have criticized the charges and called for more information about the allegations and charges.
On Tuesday evening, October 9, 12 police officers from Tarmwe Township Police Station arrived at the Eleven Media newsroom at 7pm. According to Frontier Myanmar they were looking for Ko Nayi Min and Ko Kyaw Zaw Linn, both editors in charge, and senior editor Ko Phyo Wai Win. The journalists were not at the office at the time and police waited almost two hours. They told the publishers that they would return at 10am on Wednesday.
Tarmwe Township Police denied knowledge of the incident. Local media reported that the charges were related to a story published on October 8, about controversial business ventures of Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein.
Eleven Media editor and spokesperson Ko Oo told Radio Free Asia’s Myanmar Service that a case had been opened ybder Section 505(b) of the Penal Code. This section prohibits the publication or circulation of any statement, rumour or report, with intent to cause “fear or alarm to the public”.
The IFJ said: “The ongoing use of repressive and outdated legislation to suppress and control the media is having a detrimental impact on Myanmar’s democracy and freedom of the press. These kinds of actions send a message to journalists in Myanmar that press freedom comes at a price.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
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