Myanmar Columnist Sithu Aung Myint detained in interrogation centre, lawyer says

No one has been able to communicate with columnist Sithu Aung Myint, who has been in junta detention since his arrest on Sunday, his lawyer and family members said on Thursday. 

Sithu Aung Myint, whose political commentary is regularly featured in media outlets including Frontier Myanmar and VOA, was arrested by soldiers on the evening of August 15 from a Yangon apartment where he had been in hiding. 

Than Zaw Aung, an attorney who is assisting with his case, said he was told by police officers from Bahan Township that Sithu Aung Myint was being held in an interrogation centre. 

“They said he was immediately taken to the interrogation center. I don’t know anything apart from that,” the lawyer said. 

The Bahan police also told him that the landlord of the property where he was staying, and the presenter on a BBC Media Action program were arrested along with Sithu Aung Myint. 

The presenter was identified as Htet Htet Khine; her TV show is called “Khan Sar Kyi” in Burmese, or “Feel It” in English. 

The military council has not disclosed any information on either individual. 

The coup regime opened a legal case against Sithu Aung Myint on April 24 under Section 505a of Myanmar’s penal code for incitement.

In an attempt to take control of the press, the junta has arrested more than 100 journalists since the February 1 coup. 

Immediately following the coup, news outlets including Mizzima, DVB, 7Day, Khit Thit and Myanmar Now were blacklisted and had their publishing licences revoked; the same  Kachin State-based 74 Media and the Myitkyina Journal on April 29. 

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