Demonstration to Call for Investigation Into Journalist’s Killing

By San Yamin Aung 24 October 2014

RANGOON — Several activist groups said on Friday afternoon that they plan to soon hold a demonstration to call for a full investigation and justice in the case of the reported killing of a journalist by the Burma Army in Mon State.

“We will ask for a transparent investigation, for the officials to take fair [legal] action to account for his death, and to bring his body back to his family for a proper funeral,” said Moe Thway from Generation Wave, a youth activist group.

On Friday morning, it emerged that an aide to Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing sent a statement to the Interim Myanmar Press Council on Thursday, saying that an unnamed army unit in Mon State’s Kyaikmayaw Township had shot dead 49-year-old freelance journalist Aung Kyaw Naing, also known as Par Gyi, on Oct. 4.

He said a letter requesting permission to hold the demonstration in front of Rangoon’s City Hall had been sent to Kyauktada Township on Friday, adding that the protest was scheduled to start on Sunday at 4 pm.

He said some 200 people from youth activist groups, journalist organizations and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society are expected to join. Moe Thway added that protestors had asked for permission to chant, “Protect reporters!”, “Justice must prevail!” and “Down with the oppressive military!”

“He was missing for a month, but it has now been confirmed that he was dead soon after he disappeared. We think it is deceiving,” said Moe Thway.

Min Nay Htoo, a youth activist with DPW Network, said he planned to join the protest. He said the journalist’s killing “proved that the current government is not a government that is transitioning to a real democracy; the military is still above the law and can do whatever they want.”