PRESS RELEASE (7 / 2016)

PRESS RELEASE (7 / 2016) 15 December 2016 YANGON, MYANMAR

PEN Myanmar urges the three pillars of the State: the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislative branches to protect journalists and guarantee their safety

1.Soe Moe Tun, a Monywa-based Eleven Media Group journalist was found dead on the Union Highway near Aung Chan Thar Quarter in Monywa, Sagaing Division at 12:20 am on December 13, 2016. His skull was broken and his body was covered in deadly bruises. The Central Police station has filed the case as a murder under Section 302 of the Criminal Code.

2.The murder of a journalist could be caused by common crime or silencing him for his investigative reports or preventing all secret data, which he had collected.

3.Chapter (3) of the 2014 News Media Law clearly states the rights of a journalist. They can investigate, publish and broadcast related opinions to which every citizen is entitled in accordance with rules and regulations. Moreover investigative reporting is a form of reporting in which journalists deeply investigate any topic that may cause potential threat to public interest. The hidden information is to be explored for public interest.

4.Soe Moe Tun had repeatedly reported news about mining in the Lappattaung region and illegal logging around Monywa.

5.Recently, Tin Zaw Oo, the Voice Daily newspaper journalist, received a life threat for reporting illegal logging taking place in Tha-pake-kyin and Moe-Mate townships in Mandalay Division. He was forced to stay in a hide-out in Mandalay and is yet to receive proper protection.

6.Soe Moe Tun was killed at a time when the lives of investigative journalists are assumed to be in danger.

7.It is crucial to find and bring the perpetrator to justice to ensure the rights of citizens, freedom of expression and free press.

8.The case of journalist Ko Par Gyi has proven that impunity is still a challenge in Myanmar. Judiciary reform is not complete. Justice should prevail for everyone, regardless of who they were and why they were killed. The rule of law is the very foundation of democracy.

9.PEN Myanmar urges the three pillars of the State: the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative, to investigate the death of Journalist Soe Moe Tun with the objective of bringing the perpetrators to justice while protecting journalists and guaranteeing their safety.

PEN Myanmar Center


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