Myanmar-Based Photojournalist Dies In Military Custody, PEC Calls-For Immediate Release Of Detainees

 

  • NET/UT Web Desk

A Myanmar-based freelance photojournalist, named Ko Soe Naing on December 14 died in military custody after being apprehended last week while covering mass protests against military coup.

Naing is known to be the first journalist, who lost his life in custody since the army seized power in February this year, while ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ko Soe Naing was sent to a military interrogation center along Yangon’s eastern Botahtaung Township in Myanmar on December 10, for covering the anti-military protests and brutal crackdowns by security forces. He was covering the crisis along with his colleagues.

Survived by his spouse, and a 4-yrs-old son, Naing is said to have died at the 1000-bed Defence Services General Hospital in Yangon’s Mingaladon Township.

Naing’s death has been strongly condemned by the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) – a global media safety and rights body which holds the consultative status at the United Nations (UN).

The Secretary General of PEC, Blaise Lempen asserted, “We reiterate our demand to Myanmar dictator Min Aung Hlaing for releasing all prisoners including the journalists.”

According to Ukhrul Times report, a media outlet during its interview with the PEC’s South-east representative stated that “the Burmese photojournalist was initially trained as a graphic designer and later he started taking photographs of various anti-military demonstrations. In some occasions, his photographs were also used by a number of outside agencies, which gave Naing instant visibility inside the country.”

Its worthy to note that the independent non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), PEC aims to promote the protection of journalists in situations of violence, with a view to strengthening the respect for press freedom, the right of professional journalists to information and the safety of journalists.