World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Myanmar, 13 November 2014

Protest Campaign - Myanmar, 13 November 2014

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His Excellency Thein Sein
President of Myanmar
Naypyidaw, Myanmar

Fax: 01 45 62 13 30

12 November 2014


Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our grave concern at the death in custody of journalist Aung Kyaw Naing.

According to reports, Mr Naing, a freelance reporter, was covering clashes between the Myanmar Army and armed forces of the Karen minority rebel group in Mon State when he was detained by the army on September 30. After three weeks, army officials notified the Interim Myanmar Press Council that Mr Naing had died on October 4, while in their custody, and that his body had been buried. The army stated that Mr Naing was shot when he attempted to seize a soldier's gun and claimed that he had worked for a rebel group.

Following widespread dismissal of the army's claims, Mr Naing's body was exhumed on 5 November. Witnesses to the exhumation said that they saw several serious injuries to Mr Naing's head, ribs, groin and leg. The body was sent to Mawlamyine General Hospital for a full medical examination.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to work without fear of violence. The threat of violence against journalists creates a climate of fear that promotes self-censorship.

We call on you to ensure that a swift and thorough investigation into Mr Naing's death is carried out and that those responsible are quickly brought to justice. We urge you to take all possible steps to ensure the safety of journalists.


We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,


Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world's newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2014-11-13 12:12

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...