Sein Win Maung

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

A police raid on the offices of the weekly Myanmar Nation led to the arrest of editor Thet Zin and manager Sein Win Maung, according to local and international news reports. Police also seized the journalists’ cell phones, footage of monk-led antigovernment demonstrations that took place in Burma in September 2007, and a report by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, according to Aung Din, director of the Washington-based U.S. Campaign for Burma. The rapporteur’s report detailed killings associated with the military government’s crackdown on the 2007 demonstrators.

The New Delhi-based Mizzima news agency cited family members as saying that the two were first detained in the Thingangyun Township police station before being charged with illegal printing and publishing on February 25. On November 28, 2008, a closed court at the Insein Prison compound sentenced each to seven years in prison under the Printers and Publishers Registration Law, which requires that all publications be checked by a state censor before publication.

Police ordered Myanmar Nation’s staff to stop publishing temporarily, according to the Burma Media Association, a press freedom advocacy group with representatives in Bangkok. The exile-run news website Irrawaddy said the newspaper was allowed to resume publishing in March 2008; by October of that year, exile-run groups said, the journal had shut down for lack of leadership.

Thet Zin was among 7,000 prisoners released as part of a government amnesty on September 17, 2009, according to international news reports. Sein Win Maung remained behind bars in Kengtung Prison in Shan State, approximately 400 miles from his family in Rangoon.