Yangon Journalist Disappears After Four Months In Hiding
By Network Media Group
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
A man suspected that his wife had been arrested after the woman, a journalist in hiding in north central Yangon after the military council brought charges against her, did not answer her mobile phone.
“In her hiding place, I communicated with her every day… I have not heard from her for five days, so I assume she has been arrested,” the husband told NMG.
Ma Thuzar had gone into hiding before the armed forces raided her house in May. Her husband, a retired journalist, was held for five days and then released.
Before losing contact with Ma Thuzar, she hid at Kamaryut Township in Yangon, he explained. He said that whenever she left the house to go anywhere or change her hiding location, she would text or call him. Since she has not contacted him since September 1, the husband assumed that the armed forces had taken his wife.
“I am discussing this with a lawyer. They told me that if they took her to an interrogation centre, they would not be allowed to talk to her… We are worried about her. My mother is sick,” he said.
The couple has a seven-year-old daughter.
The husband’s lawyer inquired about Ma Thuzar’s whereabouts at Kamaryut Police Station who initially said they had no information about it. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the police finally confirmed her arrest on May 5.
After becoming a journalist in 2007, Ma Thuzar worked for RFA, Morden Magazine, Irrawaddy and 7Day News.
After the February 1 coup, she worked for Friday Times Journal and Myanmar Pressphoto Agency and for a Korea news agency. Before going into hiding, Ma Thuzar filmed live videos of street protests published by Friday Times Journal, which may have led to her being charged.
According to Detained Journalists Information Myanmar, the military council has arrested 97 journalists as of September 7. Of these, 54 journalists have been released and 43 journalists remain behind bars.