Journalists wearing T-shirts saying "stop killing press" protest in Yangon, Myanmar, July 12, 2014. (AFP/Soe Than Win)

Journalist abducted, seriously injured in Myanmar

May 30, 2017 11:52 AM ET

Bangkok, May 30, 2017--A reporter was abducted, dragged into a waiting vehicle, and then critically wounded in an auto accident on May 26, near the town of Loikaw, in Myanmar's southeastern Kayah State, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on security forces to identify the assailants and swiftly bring them to justice.

Maw Oo Myar, a reporter for the Kantarawaddy Times newspaper and the broadcaster the Democratic Voice of Burma, was forced from the motorcycle she and a fellow journalist were riding and was pulled into a vehicle waiting nearby by two unidentified men, media reports said. The two assailants verbally threatened the reporter before dragging her into the waiting car, reports said. Soon after, her abductors crashed the car they were driving, and Maw Oo Myar lost consciousness, the reports said.

Maw Oo Myar was taken to a nearby hospital at around 5:30 p.m. and later transferred to Loikaw General Hospital, where she was placed under a security detail while receiving treatment, according to news reports. She is still unable to eat, talk, or move because of her injuries, reports said.

Police said they were investigating two suspects, whom they did not name, but that no arrests had been made, according to reports today.

"Journalists in Myanmar's provinces are at rising risk of violent reprisals for their reporting," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. "It is imperative that those responsible for the abduction and assault of reporter Maw Oo Myar are identified, apprehended, and fully prosecuted."

Maw Oo Myar reported on politics, women's rights, business, and public health. She also produced a regular Karienni-language program for the Democratic Voice of Burma's weekly program on Myanmar's ethnic minorities, reports said.

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