July 25, 2021

Myanmar frees Nathan Mong, an American journalist who was allegedly tortured in prison

Nathan Mong is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Myanmar’s online news site Comet Media, and has spent more than two months in prison in the country’s worst incineration prison north of Yangon.

He was arrested along with Myanmar co-founder and producer Hunter Nain in early March as security forces raided their offices. Sources close to the couple Previously told CNN Business They were subjected to two weeks of torture while detained at the interrogation center after their arrest.
American journalist Danny Window, Who prevented boarding a flight from Myanmar on May 24, has been remanded in custody. Family members say US embassy officials were not allowed to contact him and that Fenster was not charged.

On Monday, Nathan Mong’s lawyer, Tin Sir O, said the charges against his client were dropped after the police chief withdrew the case. He was initially accused of spreading false information.

Tin Sir O’Connor said he did not know why the charges were dropped, but “the main thing is that the US embassy called for their citizen’s rights. .

Like many journalists Following the coup, Nathan Mong and Hunter Nain were charged under Section 505A of the Myanmar Penal Code – a law amended by the military that carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. .

Although the charges against Nathan Mong have been dropped, Hunter Nine is in jail on charges of spreading false information. Prosecutor Tin Sar O said he hoped to face further charges, but this has not been confirmed.

Tin Sar O said he was glad Nathan Mong was released, but it was bitter because his colleague Hunter Nine was in prison.

“He will no longer be allowed to stay in Myanmar, so I saw him with a sad face,” he said. “He told us he would try everything he could for Hunter’s release.”

CNN approached the Myanmar military for business comment, but received no response.

Nathan Mong was scheduled to leave the country at 7:40 a.m. local time on a ticket arranged by the U.S. embassy, ​​and his destination would be Washington, D.C., Tin Sar O said. He was transferred from Incheon Prison to Yangon Police Station on Monday, where he was a Govt He was tested and allowed to visit his family who live in Myanmar, he said.

A foreign ministry official told CNN Business on Monday, “We are pursuing this case very closely, but there is nothing new to share at this time.”

Under the command of coup leader General Min Aung Hlung, the Myanmar military seized power on February 1, sparking months of civil unrest and deadly clashes. As of Tuesday, more than 860 people had been killed by junta-led security forces and at least 6,046 had been arrested since the coup, according to the Association of Advocates for Political Prisoners. Among them are protesters, activists, journalists, celebrities, government officials, children and spectators.

The military junta has targeted the press in an attempt to restrict information by suspending the licenses of independent media outlets, raiding media offices and issuing arrest warrants for journalists.

Many media workers are deported or flee to rebel-held areas in the jungle. Residents in the cities relocate to safer homes in secret every few days to avoid being arrested.

At least 87 journalists have been arrested and 51 are still in custody, ASEAN reports.

The release of Nathan Mong came as an inquiry into the ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi Started on Monday. The capital, Naypyidaw, has prosecuted the first criminal case against a sacked leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, including soliciting three allegations that Suu Kyi violated the Communications Act by importing and using several walkie-talkie radios, and violated the Corona virus controls during last year’s election campaign. .

The court also heard a case against ousted President Yu Mind for allegedly violating the country’s disaster management laws.

The case against Suu Kyi will resume on Tuesday in two other respects, while the most serious allegations against her, corruption and violations of state secrecy law, have not yet been scheduled for trial.

There are analysts Described the court proceedings A “visual test” and “a political scene” to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and the democratic opposition.