Authorities promise to thoroughly investigate killing of journalist

Police in Sagaing have said they will thoroughly investigate the suspected murder of a journalist in the region and bring the killers to justice.

Ko Soe Moe Tun, a reporter for Eleven Media Group, was found dead by the side of the road in Monywa on December 13. Police believe he had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument.

He had been investigating controversial topics including illegal KTV parlours and the logging trade.

Authorities said they are investigating 40 people and arrested two people related to the case on December 19, both staff at a KTV parlour, police captain U Thein Swe Myint told Frontier.

Thein Swe Myint said he could not comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

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Chief Minister of Sagaing Region Dr Myint Naing has visited Monywa and promised to help authorities solve the crime.

“The case is a systematically conspired plan to kill [Soe Moe Tun],” he said, adding that from his understanding three people had been involved in the killing.

“There are still people around who control this case. Police have to find out who they are and arrest them. I will do everything I can to help them; act bravely and I will stand by you,” he told police officers.

Journalists in Myanmar have also held a memorial service for Soe Moe Tun.

“To find justice is important. At the moment we don’t know who did that to him, but we have to wait and see. We have prayed and called for justice today,” said Ko Nanda, a reporter based on Monywa.

Soe Moe Tun was the fourth journalist to be killed in Myanmar since 1999, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We categorically condemn the murder of journalist Soe Moe Tun and call on Myanmar authorities to leave no stone unturned in identifying and prosecuting those responsible,” said Mr Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative in a statement released on December 13.  

Soe Moe Tun is survived by his wife and eight-year-old son. Ayeyarwady Foundation has promised to provide full education for his son, a family member said.


By Mratt Kyaw Thu

By Mratt Kyaw Thu

Mratt is a Senior Reporter at Frontier. He began his career at Unity Weekly Journal in 2010 and focuses on political reporting. In 2017 he won the Agence France-Presse Kate Webb prize for his coverage of ethnic strife in Myanmar.
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