Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mon woman lured to Malaysia, raped


WCRP - (Rehmonnya): A woman from Mon State was repeatedly raped by a Burman man who had promised her a job at his guesthouse and clothes store on Penan island, Malaysia. The woman became pregnant to the man, and was then forced to abort the child.

In May 2008, the Burman man persuaded a 24 year-old single woman from Thanbyuzayat Township, to migrate to Malaysia to work in his store. Upon arrival in Malaysia, she was told that he could no longer afford to employ her. She was instead, everyday, held down with robes and raped by the man. “After three months of this horrendous abuse, she became pregnant to her perpetrator,” said her uncle. The man then forced her to abort her pregnancy using a medical treatment that caused her much physical pain.

The persecutor, a 46 year-old man, is married to the victim’s cousin. The man is from Rangoon and has two children. “He both rents out rooms and sells clothes on Penan Island,” said the victim’s uncle.

Faced with this ongoing abuse, the victim made repeated attempts to contact her family in Mon State. She eventually made contact with them. When her family learnt the totality of her abusive situation, they approached the wife of the persecutor, ordering her to release their daughter and threatening to “take the case to the New Mon State Party Township authority if she was not released.”

Only after extensive pressure from the victim’s family did the persecutor and his wife release the victim and send her to join relatives living in Mahachai, Samut Sakhorn Province, Thailand. When she arrived in Thailand her relatives found her to be both mentally and physically distraught. According to her uncle, “She received 20 days of medical treatment in the Mahachai hospital for injuries incurred through forced sexual intercourse, severe torture and a forced abortion.”

After receiving medical treatment, and gaining some strength, the victim was employed by a Shrimp Company in Mahachai, where she earned enough money to pay for her transportation to return home to Mon State.

In December 2008, her uncle confirmed that his niece had arrived home safely and that her family is contemplating legal prosecution of the Burman man.

READ MORE---> Mon woman lured to Malaysia, raped...

Police harassing Mon women legally working in Thailand


(Rehmonnya) -WCRP: Thai police or men posing as Thai police are harassing migrant workers from Burma, say workers in Mahachi, Samut Sakorn Province, Thailand. Workers are arrested, sexually assaulted and made to pay bribes for their release regardless of whether they have visas or work permits.

In November, Thai police arrested Mi Su, 27, as she walked to work at 4 am. According to Nai Aie Lawi Mon, from the Labor Rights Promotion Network, the victim possesses a work permit but, unluckily, forgot it that morning.

“They took Mi Su to another location and ordered her to make a friend bring her work permit document. They told the friend to bring the document to one place and hid Mi Su in another place,” said Nai Aie Lawi Mon. “They searched Mi Su for money, but they didn’t see any so they took only her phone. If they found money they surely would have seized it.”

Also in November, a group of police arrested 3 women, from whom they seized 4,000 to 5,000 baht as well as molested. According to one of the victims, the group all had work permits. “Even though we held the legal documents, we were arrested and also sexually abused by them. They said that they were police, but they didn’t wear police uniforms,” said the victim, age 30. “We are mothers and have children, but the police touched our breasts and our bodies. I think not only us but also young ladies face sexual abuses like that.”

READ MORE---> Police harassing Mon women legally working in Thailand...

10-year-old girl raped by ex-soldier in Ye Township


(Rehmonnya) WCRP: A ten-year-old girl in Han Gan village, Ye Township, was raped by an ex-soldier in December. The ex-soldier is under arrest after he escaped and was re-captured at the railway station in Ye Town.

The victim was staying at the perpetrator’s house along with approximately 50 other students attending evening tutoring sessions with his wife. On December 14th, the wife left to visit her parents in Moulmein. The children, unsure of whether she would return in time for the lesson, came to the home anyway to study and then sleep.

According to an account published by the Independent Mon News Agency, the ex-soldier picked the young girl up as she slept, carried her to his room, covered her mouth with his hand and raped her. The next day, he came to the victim’s home to tell her to attend the evening class again, though he kept his wife’s continued absence a secret.

The girl told no one of the incident at first, but her grandmother grew suspicious after the young girl acted strangely and appeared afraid of the perpetrator. “After I found out I immediately informed the Han Gan village Peace and Development Council and demanded they arrest and put him [the perpetrator] in lockup,” a WCRP source who spoke with the grandmother quoted her as saying. “However, he escaped from lockup but was again arrested and is in jail now.”

According to the WCRP source, the girl was taken to the hospital the next day, where doctors confirmed that she had been raped. “My girl was sent to the hospital for one day and doctor told us that she will be ok soon,” the WCRP source quoted the grandmother, who added that she is receiving free treatment.

The girl and her 3-year-old brother live with their grandparents because their mother and father are away working in Thailand. “Her parents don’t know yet and the grandparents dare not to tell to them. They feel ashamed and took her out of the school,” said the WCRP source. According to the source, the girl was an outstanding student in grade four. Last year, she won a second place prize for being an exceptional student and was aiming for first place this year.

The perpetrator, who is ethnic Burman, lived in Han Gan village because his wife is posted there as a government school teacher. He left Light Infantry Battalion No. 586, based in Kayen Kapo village, one year ago.

READ MORE---> 10-year-old girl raped by ex-soldier in Ye Township...

Households in Ye Township forced to supply truckloads of construction materials

(IMNA) -Households along the main road through Khawza Sub-township, Ye Township, Mon State, are each being forced to supply raw materials for road repairs, say local residents.

Beginning on January 1st, over 100 households along the short road have had to supply two pickup truck loads of stones for road repairs.

“Residents along the main road have been collecting stones from January 1st until now, ever since the head authorities at each quarter ordered them,” said a teacher from Khawza. In late December, Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) officials met with authorities from quarters in Khawza and informed them that households would be required to supply construction materials. Quarter authorities then went house to house informing residents along the road of the demand.

According to teacher, each household has to invest as much as 32,000 kyat to provide the stones; 8,000 kyat for each load of stones and 8,000 kyat for the transportation in each truck. None of the households have been, or will be, reimbursed for the purchase of the stones or the time it took to deliver them.

Construction on the road has yet to begin, however, and villagers are unsure what the TPDC Chairman’s next step will be. Some surmised, however, that they would also be forced to help make the repairs. According to a public servant with the Khawza Development Affairs Office, which is responsible for road maintenance, area residents have a responsibility to develop their town and nation. It is not only the duty of the Department of Development Affairs, he said.

Unpaid, forced labor is commonly used to make road repairs in Mon State and Tenasserim, especially after the rainy season when the area’s mostly dirt roads are repaired.

Local residents were also forced to make repairs to the Khawza hospital. On January 13th, 3 carpenters were ordered to fix broken windows, mirrors and other minor damage in the building. They were not reimbursed for their time, labor or the purchase of necessary supplies.

READ MORE---> Households in Ye Township forced to supply truckloads of construction materials...

Burma's Human Rights conditions deepens in 2008: HRW

By Salai Pi Pi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burma in 2008 was one of the worse violators of Human Rights, when its ruling junta refused assistance to its citizens, faced with severe humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Nargis, said Washington-based Human Rights Watch in its World Report 2009.

The 564-page report said Burma's already dismal human rights record got worse in 2008 after the deadly Cyclone Nargis killed more than 84,000 and left 2.4 million people devastated.

"The biggest concern with Cyclone Nargis was the SPDC's delayed response to it by blocking assistance," David Scott Mathieson, HRW"s Burma consultant told Mizzima, referring the Southeast Asian nation's rulers by its official name – State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Despite the international communities' willingness to enter cyclone devastated areas to help survivors, the junta refused to entertain the requests for weeks, while pushing forward with its referendum on a draft constitution, which critics said was designed to legitimize and cement its rule.

Besides, Burma's military rulers have also been criticized by the report for randomly arresting dissidents and sentencing them to long prison terms.

The number of political prisoners in 2008 nearly doubled from what was over 1,100 in 2007 to over 2,000, the report said.

"Human rights violation in Burma has gotten worse and continue to be perpetrated by the Burmese Army and other armed groups called state paramilitary forces," David Scott Mathieson, Burma research of HRW told Mizzima.

The human rights violation in Burma includes Burmese regime's attack against the political opposition and arrest and sentencing of hundreds of political activists including monks, judges, journalists and other people, Mathieson said.

Since August 2008, Burmese military regime's courts had handed out harsh sentences ranging from 4 months to 68 years to at least 250 political activists on charges relating to involvement in peaceful demonstrations or freedom of expression.

A student activist Bo Min Yu Ko was sentenced to a total of 104 years in prison in early January in what is the longest term so far said the Thailand based Assistant Association of Political Prisoners (Burma).

Moreover, On June 4, 2008, the Burmese junta arrested several former political prisoners for their role in cyclone relief activities including prominent comedian and dissident Zarganar.

The report also said, child soldiers in Burma, despite international condemnation, is still being used in both the Burmese Army and non-state armed groups.

Another point that the HRW noted was the extension of the detention period of Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest.

"SPDC's extension of her [Aung San Suu Kyi] detention is completely unacceptable. She had done nothing wrong. She should be release immediately," Mathieson said.

While human rights violations in Burma are rampant, the HRW term neighboring countries such as India and China as spoilers for ignoring the human rights conditions in Burma while engaging with the junta.

The HRW urged the United States' incoming president Barrack Obama and his administration to put human rights at the heart of foreign, domestic, and security policy, and also to push the spoilers - Russia and China – to take a pro-active role in addressing the human rights situation in Burma.

READ MORE---> Burma's Human Rights conditions deepens in 2008: HRW...

Indonesia may deport Burmese and Bangladeshi boatpeople

by Solomon

New Delhi (Mizzima) - Indonesia has indicated it is holding discussions to send back nearly 200 Burmese and Bangladeshi boatpeople, stranded off Sabang Island near Aceh province in early January, a Foreign Affairs Ministry official said.

Teuku Faizasyah, spokesperson of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry told Mizzima on Thursday that the ministry had sent an official to investigate into the boatpeople's situation and are now organizing a series of meetings with different government ministries on what to do with them.

"We sent an official last week to investigate and to verify their (the boat people) identity and the official has returned on Monday. We are now arranging meetings with several ministries to discuss what to do" said Faizasyah.

"Based on the information received I think the meetings will submit a recommendation on what to do with these people," he added.

On January 7, a wooden boat carrying 193 Burmese and Bangladeshis was seen stranded off the Sabang Island in northern Aceh province. They were then taken in by local authorities and an investigation was conducted to find out their identities, the official said.

The official said that all the boat people remain on the Island and are being taken care of by local people and the authorities.

"They [officials] had a meeting yesterday and the day before and I believe that there is sufficient information and we are just waiting for their recommendation," said Faizasyah, adding that a decision could be made by the end of the week.

The official said the foreign ministry had sent their staff members along with someone who can speak in Burmese because the boatpeople do not speak Indonesian or English.

The official said so far there has been no response from the Burmese Embassy.

READ MORE---> Indonesia may deport Burmese and Bangladeshi boatpeople...

Six opposition party members freed

By Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Burma's military junta on Wednesday released six members of the opposition party, who had been arrested and detained for two weeks, for staging protests calling for the release of detained Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a party official said.

Dr. Win Naing, spokesperson for the National League for Democracy said, six out of nine members, who were arrested for demonstrating for the release of party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, were released after they were made to sign pledges that they would not protest again.

"They were detained in Insein prison and were released after signing pledges that they would not protest. Their parents were also made to sign the pledges at the local township office," Dr. Win Naing said.

However, he added that three others – Htet Htet Oo Way (female), Tun Tun Win and Win Myint Maung – were still detained at the notorious Insein prison of Rangoon.

The youth, on December 30, after attending a political discussion at the party headquarters in west Shwe Gondine, marched through the streets demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained for 13 of the past 19 years.

Police arrested the activists, as they arrived at the old parliament building (now defunct), and took them away to the 'Pan Wa' interrogation centre and later detained them at Insein prison.

"I think the rest might not be released soon, because the authorities would want to threaten them as well as others from conducting any more protests," Dr. Win Naing added.

Those released on Wednesday were MIn Thein from Thakethah Township, Thet Maung Tun, Pyih Pyih, Aung Phyoe Wai, Tun Tun Lin, and Kaung Htet from Sanchuang Township.

READ MORE---> Six opposition party members freed...

US hits Myanmar with additional sanctions

WASHINGTON (IHT-AP): The United States has slapped sanctions on what it says are key financial backers of the military-led government in Myanmar.

The Treasury Department said Thursday it has added two people and 14 companies to a blacklist. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control says it has added 100 people and entities to its Myanmar sanctions. Myanmar is also called Burma.

The United States says its actions target "regime cronies" Zaw Zaw and Win Aung, their business networks and the business networks of two already-designated associates of the junta, Tay Za and Steven Law.

Zaw Zaw was described as the managing director of the Max Myanmar Group of Companies, which was said to have provided important services supporting the Myanmar junta. Win Aung was said to have made large financial donations to the junta.

US slaps more sanctions on Myanmar regime backers

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States slapped additional sanctions against alleged key financial backers of the Myanmar military regime Thursday, citing the country's imprisonment of democracy advocates.

The US Treasury Department announced its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had added two people and 14 companies to its lists of sanctions targets for Myanmar, which the US government identifies by its pre-junta name of Burma.

"Congress and the administration have made clear the need to apply vigorous sanctions against the Burmese junta as long as it continues to suppress democratic dissent," said OFAC director Adam Szubin in a statement.

"The junta's imprisonment of prominent democracy advocates confirms Burma's unwillingness to abide by international commitments and underscores the need to maintain pressure against one of the world's worst violators of human rights."

OFAC has now imposed sanctions on 100 people and entities, "targeting key state-owned enterprises, senior junta officials, regime cronies and their business networks," the Treasury said.

The action freezes any assets the designees have under US jurisdiction and bars any US citizen from having any financial and commercial transactions with the sanction targets.

The latest move targets "regime cronies" Zaw Zaw and Win Aung and their business networks, as well as the business networks of two already-designated cronies of the Burmese junta, Tay Za and Steven Law, the department said.

Zaw Zaw was identified as the managing director of the Max Myanmar Group of Companies, a Burmese entity with interests in the gem, timber, construction, and tourism industries.

The Treasury targeted eight companies of the group and Zaw Zaw's Singapore-based company, Max Singapore International.

Win Aung allegedly made large financial donations to the Myanmar junta and has been a major support on construction projects. He was designated along with two of his companies, Dagon International Limited and Dagon Timber Limited.

The financial network of Tay Za, "a notorious regime henchman and arms dealer," was hit with a third round of sanctions.

Thursday's action targeted Espace Avenir, a Rangoon hotel owned or controlled by Tay Za, the Treasury said.

Also targeted were Sentosa Treasure Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean firm owned by Cecilia Ng, who was designated on February 25, 2008, along with her husband, Steven Law.

Nine firms that previously had been identified as being owned by Ng were also designated.

OFAC targeted Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Company Limited (MICCL), a joint venture owned or controlled by the state-owned No. 1 Mining Enterprise, which was designated on July 29, 2008.

MICCL controls the Monywa copper project, the biggest of its kind in the country, located in Myanmar's northwestern Sagaing division, the department said.

The action came in the waning days of President George W. Bush's administration. President-elect Barack Obama is to be sworn into office Tuesday as the 44th US president.

The military-ruled Myanmar has been under international fire for years over human rights abuses and many citizens had fled the impoverished nation to neighboring countries, where they mostly stay illegally or apply for refugee status and seek resettlement in the West.

READ MORE---> US hits Myanmar with additional sanctions...

UN agencies team up on family planning for refugees in Thailand

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

BANGKOK, Thailand, January 15 (UNHCR) – Refugees along Thailand's border with Myanmar will be able to continue to plan their families thanks to cooperation between UNHCR and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The two UN agencies are collaborating to fill gaps in reproductive health care for the 111,000 refugees from Myanmar living in nine camps. A quarter of the refugees are women of reproductive age.

As an initial step, UNFPA on Wednesday handed over contraceptives to meet the needs of 8,500 current users and 400 new users for six months to one year. The UN refugee agency's private aid agency partners will distribute the supplies and provide related counselling, education and hospital referrals in four camps: Umpium, Mae La, Mae Ra Ma Luang and Mae La Oon.

"People's needs for voluntary family planning information and services do not end when they become refugees," said UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative Giuseppe de Vincentis. "We consider family planning and reproductive health a basic human right and UNHCR is committed to ensuring that all refugee needs are met."

The two agencies are also talking with the Thai government about long-term cooperation to address the needs of adolescents, whose access to information and services has been limited by cultural taboos.

"It is our hope that further collaboration with UNHCR will improve the predictability, timeliness and effectiveness of reproductive health information and service provision for refugees here in Thailand," said Garimella Giridhar, UNFPA's representative in Thailand.

By Kitty McKinsey
in Bangkok, Thailand

READ MORE---> UN agencies team up on family planning for refugees in Thailand...

Burmese Journalists Look Back at 2008—or was it 1984?


Journalists in Burma faced Orwellian-type scrutiny and were subjected to imprisonment and intimidation throughout 2008 while exiled Burmese media groups were also attacked—via their computers.

2008 should have been a year when Burma’s reporters reached a worldwide audience. The country was constantly in the global spotlight—hundreds of political activists from September 2007’s monk-led demonstrations were imprisoned, the Irrawaddy delta was devastated by a killer cyclone and a junta-sponsored constitutional referendum was pushed through.

Yet except for the state-run mouthpieces, Burma’s private newspapers, journals and magazines were muzzled while their reporters faced summary harassment by thugs employed by the Burmese authorities.

At least ten journalists in Burma were detained last year. Some received prison sentences of up to 19 years.

Fortunately, there were no reports of Burmese journalists killed. Nevertheless, international media watchdog Reporters without Borders included Burma in its overview of persecution of journalists in the same breath as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.

2008 was a year in which the officials of Burma’s notorious censorship bureau, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, found themselves pouring over pages of print with magnifying glasses and mirrors, looking for hidden anti-regime messages within the texts.

The measure followed a case in February when a poet, Saw Wai, published a verse in the weekly “Love Journal” which contained a hidden message mocking regime chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe. The poet was sentenced for two years.

Other bureaucrats scanned the Internet, moving to plug the flow of information.

The editor of a weekly journal in Rangoon who asked to remain anonymous told The Irrawaddy said that degree of censorship in Burma had increased from previous years.

He said that many articles submitted to the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division were rejected in 2008.

“Reporters in Burma have to be careful about every single word they write and speak,” he said, adding that they could be fired if the authorities didn’t approve of their coverage or found the material too sensitive.

He said editors and publishers in Burma often send expensive gifts to the heads of the Press Scrutiny and Registration Board in the hope of getting favorable treatment and speedy approval of their publications.

“Every editor here, at one time or another, has been reprimanded by the censorship board,” he said.

In August, Saw Myint Than, chief reporter for Rangoon-based weekly Flower News was summoned by police and rebuked for a story he and another reporter has written about the murder of a couple in Rangoon. The authorities do not approve of crime being reported.

In another case, a journalist at 7 Day News Journal was reprimanded by authorities after writing a story about the murder of five people in a house near the residence of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

He was sternly reminded that Suu Kyi’s name cannot be mentioned in the media—unless of course the article seeks to slander the democracy icon.

In spite of the risks and the threats, the salary for a reporter is only 35,000 to 70,000 kyat (US $30—$60) per month. Editors generally make about 80,000 kyat ($70) and a chief editor will take home 200,000 to 300,000 kyat ($170—$260) monthly.

“For a journalist in Burma, possessing a mobile phone and a laptop is like a dream,” said one reporter, adding that his expenses often exceeded his wages.

More than 30 local and national journals and magazines were unable to pay their license fees for 2008 and were forced to close down.

2008 also saw an intense campaign by the junta to target citizen journalists, bloggers and Internet users.

In November, well-known blogger Nay Phone Latt, 28, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for espousing anti-government rhetoric online.

Giving interviews to exiled media publications and radio stations is also a risky affair.

Burma’s best-known comedian, Zarganar, who has his own blogsite, was sentenced to 59 years imprisonment after helping cyclone survivors in the Irrawaddy delta. Shortly before his arrest he gave interviews to The Irrawaddy and radio stations overseas detailing conditions in the delta.

Meanwhile, exiled media in Thailand and India faced cyber attacks and difficulties in verifying information from inside Burma, while constantly juggling their legal status in their host countries.

Accuracy, verification and the inability to conduct field trips is the foremost practical challenge. Financial difficulties and cyber attacks compound the problem. Several Burmese journalists in Thailand and India have no legal status and are constantly worried about arrest and deportation.

In September 2008, several websites run by Burmese media groups in exile—The Irrawaddy, Mizzima, the Democratic Voice of Burma and Khitpyaing—came under repeated cyber attacks.

Three of the agencies were bombarded by a so-called “distributed denial-of-service,” or DDoS, which overloads Web sites with an unmanageable amount of traffic. The Irrawaddy site was forced to close down for a few days during the attacks.

The assistant editor of New Delhi-based Mizzima, Mungpi, said his website was attacked four times in 2008.

In September, he said, the Mizzima web site was hacked by a group calling itself “Independence Hackers from Burma.”

He said his reporters also missed deadlines and had to drop stories because they could not get confirmation from sources inside Burma due to poor Internet and telephone connections.

He also said that getting sufficient funding is a major problem.

Almost all exiled publications are non-profit and depend heavily on funding, which has to be renewed annually. As funding is scarce, many groups say that they cannot plan ahead.

Information Minister Kyaw Hsan speaks with journalists in Naypyidaw. (Photo: AFP)

Aye Chan Naing, chief editor of the Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), said that verification is the biggest challenge for journalists in exile due to a lack of cooperation from Burmese authorities.

He said that many Burmese department staff hang up the phone as soon as he and his reporters identify themselves as working for the DVB.

Nine reporters for the DVB inside Burma were arrested in recent years. Six were given long-term jail sentences while the other three are currently awaiting trial.

Kyaw Zwa Moe, managing editor of The Irrawaddy, said the foremost problem for journalists in Burma is that the military regime forces journalists to impose self-censorship.

“I doubt that this dreadful situation will change as long as the junta rules the country,” he said.

Ethnic media groups in exile face even more obstacles.

Nai Kasauh Mon, chief editor of Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) said that financial support and capacity-building for his reporters are major challenges.

But there’s a higher risk lurking at the Thai-Burmese border—the New Mon State Party and the Burmese army are camped out in the area and some of the IMNA reporters have regularly been threatened by unknown assailants while covering sensitive issues.

Many ethnic and Burman journalists who live close to armed groups along the border dare not report the ongoing conflict accurately for fear of retribution.

The editor of the Karen Information Centre, Nan Paw Gay, said that on top of the financial difficulties and threats, they are constantly losing human resources due to the UN resettlement program.

However, in spite of the challenges that the media inside and outside Burma face, they continue to tackle the issues and inform the public, playing a key role as watchdogs.

“We will continue doing what we have to do,” said Aye Chan Naing. “The regime can no longer block the flow of information about Burma—the advancement of communications is too sophisticated nowadays.”

The head of Washington DC-based Voice of America’s Burmese Service, Than Lwin Htun, concluded: “There will be no media freedom in the country as long as the rulers view the media as their enemy.

“The media is the eyes and ears of the people,” he said.

Additional reporting by Irrawaddy staff members inside and outside Burma.

List of 10 Imprisoned Burmese Journalists in 2008

Zaw Thet Htwe

Name: Zaw Thet Htwe
Position: Freelance sportswriter, former editor of First Eleven
Sentence: 19 years
Prison: Insein

Zaw Thet Htwe has received the longest sentence given to a journalist by the courts. He was arrested by Burmese authorities after returning from the Irrawaddy delta where he worked to help cyclone survivors with his friend, the well-known Burmese comedian Zarganar, by delivering aid and videotaping the relief effort. Burmese authorities seized a computer and cell phone in a raid at his home in Rangoon.

Name: Thant Zin Aung
Position: Video and photojournalist
Sentence: 18 years
Prison: Insein

Thant Zin Aung is serving the second longest prison term for a journalist. He was arrested at the Rangoon airport for trying to take out footage of the cyclone Nagris disaster to Thailand.

Thet Zin

Name: Thet Zin
Position: editor of Myanmar Nation
Sentence: 7 years
Prison: Insein

Thet Zin, 42, is an editor of the Burmese weekly journal Myanmar Nation. Burmese authorities confiscated his cell phone and video clips of Buddhist monks in a peaceful protest in September 2007. A report by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, was also seized.

Sein Win Maung

Name: Sein Win Maung
Position: Manager of Myanmar Nation
Sentence: 7 years
Prison: Insein

Sein Win Maung, is the manager of Myanmar Nation. He was arrested along with his editor, Thet Zin, when Burmese authorities raided the publication’s office in Rangoon on February 15.

Name: Kyaw Kyaw Thant
Position: Freelance journalist
Sentence: 7 years
Prison: Insein

Kyaw Kyaw Thant, a freelance journalist, was arrested in June along with his journalist friend Ein Khaing Oo while they documented a demonstration by 20 cyclone survivors in front of the UN Development Program’s office in Rangoon’s Tamwe Township.

Ein Khaing Oo

Name: Ein Khaing Oo
Position: Reporter of Ecovision
Sentence: 2 years
Prison: Insein

Ein Khaing Oo, 24, a female journalist for the Rangoon-based weekly Ecovision, was arrested in June 2008 for writing about a protest launched by about 20 cyclone survivors in front of the UN Development Program’s offices in Rangoon’s Tamwe Township. Police say she intended to distribute photographs of the protest to overseas media.

Name: Khin Maung Aye
Position: editor of News Watch
Sentence: 3 months
Prison: Insein

Khin Maung Aye, the editor of the weekly journal News Watch, was arrested on November 5 by Burmese authorities along with one of the publication’s reporters, Htun Htun Thein, for publishing an article about corruption in the judicial system.

Name: Htun Htun Thein
Position: reporter of News Watch
Sentence: 3 months
Prison: Insein

Htun Htun Thein, a reporter on the weekly journal News Watch, was arrested by Burmese authorities on November 5 along with his editor Khin Maung Aye for publishing an article about corruption in the judicial system.

Name: Aung Kyaw San
Position: editor-in-chief of Myanmar Tribune
Sentence: detained
Prison: Insein

Aung Kyaw San is being detained in Insein Prison. No charges have been filed against him. He was arrested on June 15 along with 15 cyclone relief workers when they returned from the Irrawaddy delta after delivering relief supplies in the region.

His Burmese-language weekly journal was shut down by authorities and his family members are not allowed to visit him in prison. In 1990, he was jailed for more than three years for his pro-democracy activities, according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

Name: Aung Thwin (aka) Aung Gyi
Position: Freelance journalist
Sentence: 2 years
Prison: Insein Annex Prison

READ MORE---> Burmese Journalists Look Back at 2008—or was it 1984?...

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