Soldiers and police raided Myanmar Now’s office in downtown Yangon on Monday afternoon, seizing computers, printers and parts of the newsroom’s data server.
The newsroom was evacuated on January 28 – days before the military seized power – and no one was working there when dozens of security forces arrived in a military motorcade.
The soldiers and police cordoned off the entrance of the Great Cairo Condo on Konzaydan Street, the building where the office is located.
Soldiers destroyed the locked doors of the office and later emerged carrying office equipment with them, witnesses said.
One of Myanmar Now’s reporters, Kay Zon Nway, was arrested while livestreaming a protest in Yangon late last month. She is being held at Insein prison and was remanded in custody until March 12.
Myanmar Now is the first media outlet to be raided since the February 1 coup.
Swe Win, Myanmar Now’s editor-in-chief, said Monday’s raid confirms what many have expected since the coup: that the regime plans to show zero tolerance for any degree of press freedom.
“We were expecting that the raid would be imminent after the coup,” he said. “But this coincidentally occurred hours after we published an editorial this morning that explains how the Tatmadaw has become a terrorist organization, unleashing hell upon a public resoundingly opposed to its rule.”
“We are now at a point where continuing to do our jobs means risking being jailed or killed. What is certain is that we will not stop covering the enormous crimes the regime has been committing throughout the country,” he added.
In December 2019 Swe Win was shot in the leg by an unidentified attacker while on holiday with his family in southern Rakhine state.