DVB Wins International Media Freedom Award 

By The Irrawaddy 20 June 2021

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has granted its 2021 International Press Freedom award to U Aye Chan Naing, the chief editor of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), an independent media group which has been banned by Myanmar’s military regime.

The award recognizes courageous reporting and acknowledges the work of journalists who have faced imprisonment, violence and censorship. He is among four international journalists honored this year with others in Belarus, Guatemala and Mozambique.

U Aye Chan Naing co-founded DVB in 1992 in exile and moved the operation to Myanmar in 2012.

DVB was banned from broadcasting by the junta when it was one of five media groups that had its license revoked on March 8. It continues to broadcast online and on other platforms, providing detailed daily accounts of the regime’s crackdowns on protesters.

CPJ said: “Bestowing this year’s award on Aye Chan Naing recognizes not only his decades-long history of unflinching and courageous journalism but also his and DVB’s dogged commitment to keeping the world informed about happenings in Myanmar at a time it has perhaps never been more dangerous to be a journalist in the country.”

The military imposed emergency rule and cracked down on the media, blocking TV stations, disrupting internet services and arresting numerous journalists, including three from DVB.

A total of 88 journalists had been detained by June 17 and 49 of them are still in detention, according to Reporting Asean. Eight media companies have had their licenses revoked and four media groups, including DVB, have been charged with incitement under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code.

Many journalists have gone into hiding or fled the country to avoid the security forces.

In 2014, The Irrawaddy’s founder and editor-in-chief U Aung Zaw won the CPJ award.

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