Wife of Politically Active Journalist Arrested by Military in Burma

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the arrest of Khin Mar Lar, the wife of politically active journalist and documentary filmmaker Thaung Tun.

Tun, also known as Nyein Thit, had gone into hiding after taking part in anti-government protests.

Mandalay security forces arrived at the journalist’s home in Amarapura in Mandalay last month, and after failing to locate and arrest Tun decided to arrest his wife, according to the United States Campaign for Burma (USCB).

Khin Mar Lar has been in detention since September 25 and her children have been left without supervision.

IFJ Asia-Pacific director Jacqueline Park said that Khin Mar Lar is an innocent victim of the crackdown on anti-government protesters in Burma and must be released immediately.

“The IFJ calls upon the authorities to stop this brutal crackdown and will continue to monitor the journalists affected by the junta’s attack on freedom of expression,” said Park.

Thaung Tun was honoured by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2004 with an International Press Freedom Award. He was imprisoned for releasing information about human rights violations in Burma to international groups in 1999 and was released on January 4 2007.

Also in Burma, Mizzima News reported that the military junta has banned the use of pseudonyms of several journalists and authors who were involved in last month's protests. Work by the writers under their pseudonyms has been rejected by the Burmese censorship board without cause being shown.

Recent media reports have revealed that over 2,000 people have been arrested by the Burmese police since anti-government protests were suppressed by security forces last month.

“Too often journalists and their families are in the front line of attacks on press freedom,” Park said. “The IFJ condemns the military regime’s actions in Burma and will continue to support journalists in Burma and in exile to exercise their rights to free speech.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in more than 115 countries