Myanmar Now Journalist Assaulted

By San Yamin Aung 15 March 2017

RANGOON — Myanmar Now chief correspondent Ko Swe Win was threatened by three strangers who attempted to attack him in Rangoon’s Sanchaung Township on his way home on Tuesday night.

The journalist said that while returning from dinner with the US Ambassador to Burma Scot Marciel, three men called his name, approached him and attempted to punch him on the corner of Myaung Mya Street and Baho Road. The incident occurred about 9 p.m., not far from where Ko Swe Win lives.

“They said, ‘Hey you, are you Swe Win?,’ and tried to punch me,” he said.

One of the men stopped the physical attack and later, police arrived at the scene after Ko Swe Win returned home and called to report them.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has provided security to Ko Swe Win since he revealed the Ava Tailoring Shop’s abuse of two young maids. Ko Swe Win said his guard was not present at the scene because he had not called him after the dinner.

Ko Swe Win said he opened a case against the assailants in Sanchaung Court.

Ko Swe Win and Myanmar Now have extensively covered the assassination of National League for Democracy legal advisor U Ko Ni.

A follower of nationalist monk U Wirathu recently filed a suit against the journalist under Article 66(d) of Burma’s Telecommunications Law, accusing the reporter of insulting U Wirathu when he shared an abbot’s quote stating that U Wirathu was no longer in the monkhood because he had thanked U Ko Ni’s assassins.

Ko Swe Win received death threats on social media after his reports.

“I touched race and religion issues that are sensitive in our country. Even the government doesn’t handle them efficiently,” he said.

“If the case was personal or the men threatened me because they were drunk, I won’t take legal action. But this problem could happen again, wherever I go.”