Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, called on Myanmar authorities to immediately account for the whereabouts of photojournalist Aye Kyaw, a member of the Upper Myanmar Photography Association, amid reports that he died after being detained city of Sagaing by Myanmar’s military on July 30.
“If he died while in junta detention, then those responsible must be identified and brought to justice,” Crispin said.
Separately on July 30, Myanmar authorities arrested Japanese documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota while he filmed a small protest in the commercial capital of Yangon, and accused him of violating the country’s immigration laws and encouraging dissent against the military junta. He was moved to Yangon’s Insein Prison on August 4.
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On July 29, a court in the city of Hpa-an, in Kayin state, sentenced Maung Myo, a reporter for the independent Mekong News Agency, to six years in prison on charges of violating Section 52(a) of the Counter-Terrorism Law in connection with his coverage of insurgent groups that are fighting Myanmar’s military government.
Earlier in July, a court in the northwestern region of Sagaing convicted and sentenced Democratic Voice of Burma journalist Aung San Lin to six years in prison with hard labor. And an Insein Township Court in Yangon sentenced Nying Nying Aye, a freelance reporter who contributes regularly to the local news website Mizzima, to three years in prison with hard labor.
CPJ joins lawmakers and the family of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in renewed calls for a U.S. investigation into her killing, including at a July 28 press conference in Washington, D.C.
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Austin Tice, a U.S. freelance photojournalist who contributed to The Washington Post, McClatchy, Al-Jazeera English, and other news outlets, was detained at a checkpoint outside Damascus in August 2012. A brief video made public a few weeks later showed Tice as a captive. He has not been heard from since.
Tice’s parents, Marc and Debra, have waged a tireless effort to bring him home. August 2022 marks 10 years since his disappearance.