RSF refers Mandalay journalist’s arbitrary detention to UN

15 August 2019
RSF refers Mandalay journalist’s arbitrary detention to UN
Aung Kyi Myint, a broadcast reporter with the local privately owned Channel Mandalay, has been detained since May 15. (Photo: CPJ via Channel Mandalay's Facebook page, used with permission)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has asked the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to look into the case of Aung Kyi Myint, a video-reporter who will begin his fourth month in detention on what, in a statement, it called ‘trumped-up charges’ in Myanmar’s central Mandalay region.

“He is desperate to the point of wanting to start a hunger strike,” RSF was told by Min Din, the editor of Channel Mandalay TV, for which Aung Kyi Myint reports using the name of “Nanda.”

Arrested on 15 May while providing live coverage of a demonstration on social networks, Nanda is accused of violence against police and soldiers, supposedly with the help of a stick, although, RSF says, there is no evidence to support this claim. 

He was held for a month before being formally charged and he is facing a possible combined sentence of 17 years in prison.

“We urge the UN Working Group’s investigators to take up this flagrant case of arbitrary detention,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “The 500 days that Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo spent in prison were a shocking demonstration of the degree to which Myanmar’s justice system does the arbitrary bidding of the security forces. This is why we must not forget the other Burmese journalists who, like Nanda, are in prison just for doing their job.”