Photographer Feared Dead After Arrest by Myanmar Troops for Documenting Nationwide Strike

By The Irrawaddy 14 December 2021

A photographer who recorded last week’s Silent Day Strike is feared dead after he was arrested by regime soldiers in Yangon.

Ko Soe Naing was detained together with another photographer while taking pictures of a deserted Yangon last Friday, when the whole country shut down as people joined the strike by staying at home to demonstrate their opposition to the junta’s rule.

Close friends seeking information about the duo were informed of his death on Tuesday by the regime and told to retrieve the body at a military hospital in Yangon.

“As far as I knew, he was in good health till yesterday but this afternoon, we were told he is dead,” one of his friends told The Irrawaddy. The fate of the other photographer was still unknown.

Ko Soe Naing, who is in his mid-30s, has a wife and child. His family was not available for confirmation or comment on Tuesday.

A graphic designer by profession, he was a familiar face among local photojournalists since the coup in February as he often went out to record anti-regime protests and subsequent events. He generally shared his pictures and videos with news agencies, his friends said.

“I learnt that he and another photographer toured the city to take the pictures and were arrested by the junta forces as they were found with cameras in their bags,” another photographer said.

Since the coup, the regime forces have brutally killed at least 1,329 civilians and arrested more than 10,900 people, according to a rights group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Around 130 detainees have been killed by junta soldiers in detention since the coup, according to the AAPP.

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