Myanmar junta releases US journalist and editor from detention, says lawyer


A United States journalist detained in Myanmar since March was released from prison on Monday after charges against him were dropped, his lawyer said.

Nathan Maung, who founded local outlet Kamayut Media, was released this morning from Insein prison as the police withdrew the charges against him and will fly back to the US on Tuesday, his lawyer Tin ZarOo told AFP.

Maung had faced charges under a colonial-era law that criminalises encouraging dissent against the military, the lawyer added.

Earlier this month, a Myanmar journalist working for another outlet was jailed for two years under the same law.

Maung was arrested in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, on March 09. Hanthar Nyein, who co-founded Kamayut Media with Maung, was also arrested and is still in prison.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 01, triggering a mass uprising as large swathes of the population take to the streets.

The junta has responded with force – shooting protesters, arresting suspected dissidents in night raids, targeting journalists and shutting down news outlets.

Several foreign journalists have been detained, including another US citizen, Danny Fenster, who was held while attempting to leave the country on May 24.

Authorities have yet to release any information on his whereabouts and well-being.

Since the February coup, a military crackdown on dissent has killed more than 860 civilians, according to a local monitoring group.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has justified his power grab by citing alleged electoral fraud in last November’s poll won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. (Source: CNA)