Htet Htet Khine

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Myanmar freelance journalist Htet Htet Khine, who has worked as a producer for BBC Media Action, was arrested on August 15, 2021, in Yangon under the Unlawful Associations Act, according to news reports. She is being held in pre-trial detention at an undisclosed location. 

Authorities charged Htet Htet Khine under Section 17(1) of the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act for allegedly working for a banned radio station and harboring fellow journalist Sithu Aung Myint while he fled an arrest warrant, according to news reports. The act carries a maximum prison sentence of three years. 

Htet Htet Khine is accused of serving as an editor of Federal FM, a broadcaster affiliated with the banned National Unity Government political organization, those reports said. The ruling military regime considers the coalition a terror organization, the reports said. 

Her arrest came in the wake of the military’s February 1, 2021, democracy-suspending coup and subsequent protests. The military junta cracked down on Myanmar’s independent media, detaining dozens of journalists, according to those sources and CPJ research.

BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international development charity, said in a statement that it was concerned about Htet Htet Khine’s detention and was closely monitoring the situation.

Khin Maung Myint, Htet Htet Khine’s legal adviser, said in August that she was moved to police custody from a military interrogation center and was expected to be transferred to Insein Prison, The Irrawaddy reported.

The Ministry of Information did not reply to CPJ’s emailed request sent in late November 2021 for comment on the charges against Htet Htet Khine and her detention.