Groups say Myanmar journalists in peril amid crackdown

Myanmar Journalists

BANGKOK (AP) — Journalists in Myanmar face extreme peril as the military-controlled government cracks down on independent reporting, human rights and media advocates say.

The government installed by the military in a Feb. 1 takeover has criminalized many aspects of reporting and arrested dozens of journalists, driving many into hiding or exile.

Reports by the Committee to Protect Journalists and by Human Rights Watch, released this week, say dozens of journalists are being held, some without charges. Some of those detained have reported being tortured, and the increasing spread of COVID-19 in prisons has made conditions inside even more dangerous than usual.

The government of Aung San Suu Kyi that was ousted by the military had backpedaled on media freedom after a flowering of independent media when the previous military government began ceding control in 2012.

But now there is almost no leeway for anything but government-controlled reporting, said Shawn Crispin, author of the CPJ report released Wednesday.