The Financial Express

Myanmar releases detained BBC journalist Aung Thura

| Updated: March 23, 2021 14:54:24

Myanmar releases detained BBC journalist Aung Thura

Detained BBC journalist Aung Thura has been released in Myanmar, days after he was detained.

The BBC Burmese service reporter had been taken away by men in plain clothes on 19 March while reporting outside a court in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw.

Forty journalists have been arrested since the civilian government was overthrown in a military coup on 1 February.

The military has also revoked the licences of five media companies, reports the BBC.

Last Friday, Aung Thura was taken away with another reporter, Than Htike Aung, who works for the local news organisation Mizzima. Mizzima's operating licence was revoked by the military government earlier this month.

The men who detained the journalists had arrived in an unmarked van at around midday local time (05:30 GMT) and demanded to see them. The BBC was unable to contact him after that.

The BBC confirmed his release on Monday, but gave no further details.

According to the UN, at least 149 people have died during the civil disobedience, though the actual figure is thought to be much higher. One of the bloodiest days was 14 March when 38 were confirmed to have been killed.

A joint statement by European Union embassies and those of the US and the UK condemned "the brutal violence against unarmed civilians by security forces".

The statement called on the military to lift martial law, release detainees, end the state of emergency and restore democracy.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has meanwhile criticised the use of lethal force by the military and called for "a path towards peaceful solutions".

He echoed a call by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to hold a summit on the situation in Myanmar.

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