Myanmar: five media outlets licence revoked, their offices searched, and two media workers arrestedEvent
- Initial Date
- Mar 8, 2021
- Event Description
The military government placed a major curb on media coverage of the crisis. It announced that the licenses of five local media outlets — Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now and 7Day News — have been canceled.
“These media companies are no longer allowed to broadcast or write or give information by using any kind of media platform or using any media technology,” it said on state broadcaster MRTV.
All five had been offering extensive coverage of the protests, often with livestreaming video online. The offices of Myanmar Now were raided by the authorities Monday before the measure was announced.
DVB said it was not surprised by the cancellation and would continue broadcasting on satellite TV and online.
“We worry for the safety of our reporters and our staff, but in the current uprising, the whole country has become the citizens’ journalists and there is no way for military authorities to shut the information flow,” Executive Director Aye Chan Naing told The Associated Press.
The government has detained dozens of journalists since the coup, including a Myanmar Now reporter and Thein Zaw of AP, both of whom have been charged under a public order law that carried a penalty of up to three years in prison.
The night’s street protests began after police cordoned off part of Yangon’s Sanchaung neighborhood and were believed to be conducting door-to-door searches for those who fled attacks by security forces to seek shelter in the homes of sympathetic strangers.
News of their plight spread quickly on social media, and people poured into the streets in neighborhoods all over the city to show solidarity and in hopes of drawing some of the pressure off the hunted protesters. On some streets, they constructed makeshift barricades with whatever was at hand.
Kamayut Media’s co-founder, Han Thar Nyein, and editor-in-chief, Nathan Maung, were arrested by the Myanmar military on March 8 during raids of their offices in Yangon. Witnesses reported seven military trucks were involved during the raid on the independent media organisation. The arrests follow the death of a second National League of Democracy (NLD) figure since the military coup began. Zaw Myat Linn, an official from deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party died on Monday 8 in custody in Yangon, following his arrest on Tuesday.
Footage posted to social media showed further raids on Mizzima News and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) offices after nightfall, also on March 8. The raids followed a raid earlier in the day on Myanmar Now’s offices and extensive media shutdowns ordered by the military, with the five major media outlets’ licenses cancelled, all of which have provided extensive coverage of the ongoing coup. In its announcement, the military said that five news outlets – including both Mizzima News and the Democratic Voice of Burma - were “no longer allowed to broadcast or write or give information by using any kind of media platform or using any media technology”. Despite this, many continue their coverage online.
Media sources have told IFJ that journalists are continuing to perform their professional duties in covering the military coup despite the continued documented aggressive attempts to silence media workers and media operations.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Administrative Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Media freedom
- Right to liberty and security
- Media Worker
- Armed forces/ Military
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 8 March 2021, six independent media outlets had their office searched by the military, who also revoked the licences of five of them and arrested Han Thar Nyein and Nathan Maung, media workers, during one of the raids in Yangon, Myanmar