The AJF welcomes the release of AP’s Thein Zaw who, arrested in Yangon whilst covering the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, was in custody for almost a month from Saturday 27th February, 2021.
As a journalist, and without evidence of wrongdoing, Zaw was rightly released on Wednesday 24th March. The authorities recognised his arrest had been a mistake and the judge noted all charges were being dropped due to Zaw carrying out his job at the time of arrest.
The AJF seeks to work diplomatically with countries in the region to ensure the public’s right to know is upheld. The Myanmar authorities’ recognition that Thein Zaw’s arrest was a mistake acknowledges the essential role of journalists during the ongoing conflict. In the absence of evidence of wrongdoing, the decision to release Zaw, then, should extend to other journalists currently detained.