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Myat Thu Tun is the fifth Myanmar journalist to be killed by the junta since the coup d'état in February 2021. His body was recently found buried, riddled with bullets and marked by signs of torture. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the international community to take action to force the junta to stop this massacre.

The buried body of Myanmar journalist Myat Thu Tun was recently found in the town of Mrauk-U, in the western Rakhine region, along several bodies of prisoners buried in an air shelter, and was reportedly marked with gunshot wounds and signs of torture, according to a statement by the rebel troops of Arakan Army on 11 February 2024.

"This shocking murder bears the hallmark of the Myanmar military junta, which for three years now has imposed a climate of terror on all media professionals and is once again demonstrating its ruthless violence. We call on the international community to step up pressure on the Myanmar regime to cease its campaign of terror against reporters and release the 62 journalists and press freedom defenders detained in the country," said Cédric Alviani, RSF Asia-Pacific Bureau Director

The victim, Myat Thu Tun, also known as Phoe Thiha, had been held in prison since his arrest at his home in September 2022, and was awaiting trial on charges of "disseminating false information" and "inciting hatred", under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment. 

Before the coup in February 2021, he had worked for various Myanmar media outlets, including the Democratic Voice of Burma, 7 Days Journal and The Voice Journal. At the time of his arrest in September 2022, he was still working for local media Western News in the western state of Rakhine.

Myat Thu Tun is the fifth journalist to be killed by the military junta since the coup d'état in February 2021. Freelance photojournalists Aye Kaw and Soe Naing were also murdered in detention, while the founder of the Khonumthung News Agency Pu Tuidim and the editor of the Federal News Journal Sai Win Aung were both shot by the army while reporting on the ground.

Myanmar, ranked 173th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index, is one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists with 64 detained, second only to China.

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