By Kantarawaddy Times
The Independent Press Council Myanmar (IPCM) has called for the unconditional release of 52 journalists from prisons across Burma.
Although the State Administration Council (SAC) released 3 journalists on Independence Day (January 4), there are still 52 who are incarcerated, explained Ko Toe Zaw Latt, the secretary of IPCM. “Journalists are not criminals. Reporting the news is not a crime. Journalists are doing what they have to do,” he told Kantarawaddy Times.
The press council was recently established by 30 media groups in Burma that became disillusioned with the Press Media Council for failing to assist journalists targeted by the military council since the coup.
IPCM pointed out in a recent statement that 170 journalists have been arrested since 2021, with 118 now released from prison.
SAC released 9,766 prisoners on Independence Day.The freed journalists are Ko Kaung Sett Lin from MPA, Ko Tun Than Aung, and Ko Toe Aung, former reporters for Maekhong News Agency.
Kaung Sett Lin was arrested for reporting on police brutality at a protest on Panpin Gyi Road in Kyimyindaing Township, Yangon, on December 5, 2021. He had served two years of his sentence before being pardoned this year.
IPCM condemned the military junta for preventing journalists from reporting on the news in accordance with international standards. The council vows to continue exerting pressure on the regime to release the remaining reporters behind bars and advocating on their behalf to increase their international visibility.