In Burma, wife of former CPJ award winner arrested

New York, October 15, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest of Khin Mar Lar, the wife of award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Thaung Tun.

Khin Mar Lar was arrested on September 25 in her family home in Amarapura, a suburb of Mandalay, by police looking for Thaung Tun, according to the U.S. Campaign for Burma (USCB). Tun, who is also known as Nyein Thit, had gone into hiding after participating in antigovernment protests, the organization said. The arrest left the couple’s four children in grave difficulty, UCSB said. Other exile groups reported that the couple had three children.

“Khin Mar Lar must be released immediately,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Thaung Tun’s family members are innocent victims of the brutal crackdown on journalists and antigovernment protesters in Burma.”

According to widespread media reports, more than 2,000 people have been detained by police in Burma since popular antigovernment protests were suppressed by security forces in September. CPJ continues to monitor journalists affected by the crackdown. Thaung Tun, an editor, reporter, filmmaker and poet, was honored by CPJ with an International Press Freedom Award in 2004. He had been sentenced to eight years in prison in October 1999 for sending information about human rights violations in Burma to overseas groups. He was released as part of a government amnesty on January 4, 2007.