Around midnight on December 11,approximately 20 soldiers arrived at Aung San Lin’s residence in Pin Zin village and arrested him. The journalist was transferred to a Wetlet police station before being transported to the Shwebo Interrogation Centre on December 12.
Aung San Lin was reportedly beaten during his arrest, according to family members present at the scene, who have not been allowed to visit him and are concerned for his wellbeing.
The journalist was arrested after he published an article regarding the recent burning down of the homes of three National League for Democracy (NLD) supporters by Myanmar’s military and Pyu Saw Htee militia forces.
Executive director of DVB, Aye Chan Naing, confirmed Aung San Lin’s arrest. “So far, we haven’t got any updated news about him. We heard he was taken to the Shwe Bo military station and is no longer in his village in Wet Latt township,” he said.
On December 12, Min Theik Tun, an underage reporter for Myanmar’s Regional News Agency, was also arrested in Monywa of the Sagaing region along with 11 others. The young journalist was covering a protest in the area when he was detained.
Myanmar’s junta has antagonised journalists since it assumed control in the military coup on February 1, with over 100 journalists arrested during its administration and many remaining in custody. After its exclusion at a regional summit in October, the junta released dozens of journalists in an amnesty on humanitarian grounds, an action largely met with distrust.
The IFJ said: “The junta’s persistent detainment and harassment of journalists continues to contravene international human rights standards and curb press freedom in Myanmar. The IFJ calls for the immediate release of Aung San Lin and urges the military to cease its intimidation of Myanmar’s media.”