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CORRECTED: Myanmar journalist arrested after overnight attack: employer

March 2, 2021

A Myanmar reporter was attacked in his home and detained by the military, his employer said Tuesday, after days of crackdowns by the junta on anti-coup protesters.

Myanmar’s military has escalated force as it attempts to quell an uprising against its rule, deploying tear gas, rubber bullets and, increasingly, live rounds.

Journalists have found themselves targeted by police and soldiers as they try to capture the unrest on the streets. In recent days, several have been arrested, including an Associated Press photographer in Yangon.

A Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reporter live-streamed the Monday night attack on his apartment building in the southern city of Myeik as he pleaded for help.

Hours later, DVB said on Twitter that reporter Kaung Myat Hlaing had been taken from his home by security forces.

“DVB has no knowledge of where he was taken away, and which military authority took him,” said the statement.

It added that Kaung Myat Hlaing’s latest reports were on a weekend military crackdown in Myeik, as well as on Monday’s demonstrations.

Loud bangs could be heard during Kaung Myat Hlaing’s live stream, which was hosted on DVB’s official Facebook page.

“If you are shooting like this, how will I come down?” he shouted at the security forces outside.

DVB, a well-known news organisation within Myanmar, started as an exile media outlet during the previous junta, broadcasting uncensored reports on TV and radio.

After a 49-year hold on power, the military dictatorship loosened its grip in 2011, and DVB moved into Myanmar the following year.

The outlet demanded Tuesday that the military release Kaung Myat Hlaing, as well as other journalists detained since the February 1 putsch.

“They are all doing their professional jobs as journalists,” it said.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.