Thai police arrested three senior reporters from the Myanmar news outlet “Democratic Voice of Burma” (DVB) and two associates after being caught fleeing Myanmar for Thailand on May 9, sparking an outcry on Twitter under the “saveDVBJournalists” tag.
The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) stated in their released response early Tuesday that “three DVB reporters and two associates who fled violence and persecution in Myanmar must not be forced back by the Thai authorities. To do so would violate international law.”
SAC-M added on the last page, “[The five] should be granted protection, reassurance and security, with access to their fundamental human rights. Given the situation, that basic response should be taken as granted.”
Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) strongly urged that Thai authorities do not deport them back to Burma (Myanmar), as their lives will be in serious danger if they were to return.
There have been other occurrences towards silencing the media reports. In early March journalist Ye Wint’s name and photo were one of many to appear on a wanted list broadcast by Myanmar’s military junta. On March 8, military authorities revoked DVB’s TV license and banned DVB from doing any kind of media work. Three DVB reporters and two associates who fled Myanmar were arrested then detained in northern Thailand on March 9.
With Tuesday marking 100 days since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, 2021, numbers have risen due to the military junta ruthlessly cracking down on any perceived opposition by the use of deadly force. Advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners report more than 780 people have been killed by security forces and almost 5,000 arrested.
As of May 12, 1:30 a.m. (Yangon time), Myanmar’s National Unity Government said on their official Twitter that “the military council is violating basic human rights and committing crimes against humanity.”