Myanmar Journalist Killed While in Military Custody


Myat Thu Tan, a contributor to the local online outlet Western News, was shot and killed on January 31 while in military custody in the town of Mrauk-U in Myanmar's Rakhine State, according to reports.

The journalist's body was found, along with six other political prisoners, buried in a bomb shelter, after the Arakan Army, an ethnic armed organization, overran the military camp on February 5.

Local media said the bodies showed signs of torture.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, on Friday called for an independent investigation into the killing and for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

“We strongly condemn the murder of journalist Myat Thu Tan and call on Myanmar authorities to identify and prosecute those responsible,” Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, said in a statement.

“A culture of impunity has taken deep root in Myanmar since the 2021 democracy-suspending coup. "The junta must stop killing, and start protecting journalists," Crispin said.

Myat Thu Tan was arrested at his home in Mrauk-U in September 2022 and held in pretrial detention under a broad provision that criminalizes incitement and the spread of false news. The arrest was linked to his critical Facebook posts, according to reports.

The journalist, known also as Phoe Thiha, reported for several news outlets, including at one time, the Democratic Voice of Burma, or DVB.

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Myanmar [Burma]
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Physical assaults (include death, injury, abduction)