SOPA condemns the Myanmar military’s continued oppression of journalists

The Society of Publishers in Asia condemns the Myanmar military’s continued actions against press freedom and the media industry in the country.

Since the February coup, at least 83 journalists have been arrested, with 47 still in detention. Others have been issued arrest warrants or charged. Eight media organizations have had their licenses revoked, according to a report by monitoring group Reporting ASEAN.

Authorities most recently detained Danny Fenster, a U.S. citizen and managing editor of Frontier Myanmar. The publication said in a Facebook post that it has no information on why he was detained and has not been able to contact him. Frontier Myanmar, an English-language media outlet based in Yangon, was named Finalist in several categories of this year’s SOPA Awards, released yesterday.

Fenster’s detainment follows the arrest of Kamayut Media’s editor-in chief Nathan Maung, also a U.S. citizen, and its co-founder Hanthar Nyein in early March. They appeared in a Yangon court on May 17, according to a CPJ report. Earlier this month, Japanese freelance reporter Yuki Kitazumi was also detained for a while but later released.

We urge the Myanmar military to allow the news industry and journalists to report on events in the country free from harassment and intimidation.