BBC journalist is feared abducted by Myanmar military
BBC journalist is feared abducted by Myanmar military: Broadcaster ‘extremely concerned’ for reporter’s safety after he was ‘taken away’ as country rounds up media following coup
- The BBC has issued a statement concerning its Burmese reporter Aung Thura
- He was reportedly abducted by ‘unidentified men’ in capital Naypyidaw today
- It said it was now calling on authorities to help locate him and confirm his safety
The BBC has issued a statement concerning its Burmese reporter Aung Thura (pictured)
There are growing fears that a BBC journalist has been abducted by military forces in Myanmar as the broadcaster said it is ‘extremely concerned’ for his safety.
The BBC has issued a statement concerning its Burmese reporter Aung Thura who was reportedly abducted in the capital Naypyidaw earlier today.
It said it was now calling on local authorities to help locate him and confirm his safety as the country continues to round up members of the media following the coup on February 1.
The corporation said that Thura was ‘taken away by unidentified men’ in the Burmese capital at approximately midday local time (5am GMT) on Friday.
The statement read: ‘The BBC takes the safety of all its staff in Myanmar very seriously and we are doing everything we can to find Aung Thura.
‘We call on the authorities to help locate him and confirm that he is safe. Aung Thura is an accredited BBC journalist with many years of reporting experience covering events in Naypyidaw.’
Local media outlet Mizzima also said that one of its own reporters, Than Htike Aung, was ‘arrested’ along with Thura.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup that saw civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi removed from power and detained.
The coup triggered a mass uprising that has seen authorities deploy increasingly deadly force to quell dissent.
The coup triggered a mass uprising that has seen authorities deploy increasingly deadly force to quell dissent (protestors pictured behind barricades earlier today)
The junta has also gone after the country’s press corps, revoking the licenses of five independent local broadcasting services, raiding newsrooms, and arresting journalists working to cover the news.
Since the coup, more than 30 journalists have been arrested, with at least 18 still in detention, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – a local monitoring group that tracks arrests and deaths.
Among the detained is Thein Zaw, a photojournalist with the Associated Press.
Thein Zaw was arrested while covering a protest in Yangon – the nation’s biggest city.
He has been charged with ‘causing fear, spreading false news or agitating directly or indirectly a government employee’.
The junta amended that related law after the coup, increasing the maximum sentence from two years in jail to three.
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