US Press Leaders Call For Immediate Release of AP Photographer Thein Zaw

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US Press Leaders Call For Immediate Release of AP Photographer Thein Zaw

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2021

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by National Press Club President Lisa Nicole Matthews and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Angela Greiling Keane on the arrest and detention of AP Photographer Thein Zaw in Myanmar:

US Press Leaders Call For Immediate Release of AP Photographer Thein Zaw (PRNewsfoto/National Press Club)
US Press Leaders Call For Immediate Release of AP Photographer Thein Zaw (PRNewsfoto/National Press Club)

We call on authorities in Myanmar to release, immediately, AP photographer Thein Zaw who was covering a protest Feb. 27 in Yangon when he was arrested. Video shows Thein being surrounded by police and placed in a chokehold before being handcuffed and arrested. We are concerned for his safety.

After a Feb. 1 coup by the military in Myanmar ousted elected President Aung San Suu Kyi, laws against journalists and journalism have been expanded in an attempt to suppress press freedom. We understand from news reports and Thein's lawyer that he was arrested under those recently expanded laws, which include creating fear among people; spreading false news; or agitating directly or indirectly for a criminal offense against a government employee. Thein and five other members of the media face a prison term of at least three years from these charges. We believe he was simply doing his job as a journalist and look forward to his swift release.

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club's non-profit affiliate, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.

PRESS CONTACT: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club; lunderwood@press.org, (202) 662-7561

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SOURCE National Press Club