Myanmar detains, obstructs journalists from reporting

On May 31, 2015, Myanmar’s navy questioned and briefly detained several journalists. The journalists, who were in small boats, were attempting to reach a remote island off Myanmar’s southwestern coast where a ship carrying hundreds of migrants had drifted, according to news reports.

The journalists, who worked for Reuters, The Associated Press, and other foreign media, were forced to delete photos and videos and to sign documents saying they would not make the journey again, reports said. The journalists were turned back. News reports did not identify the journalists or say how many were involved.

Thousands have fled following a regional crackdown on human trafficking. The AP cited the UN Refugee Agency as saying that of the thousands who have fled, around 3,700 have been Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar. Myanmar authorities denied that the migrants on the boat were Rohingya Muslims, saying instead that they were from Bangladesh.