The chief editor of Myanmar Now news agency, Swe Win, says he was threatened in person by three men near his home in Rangoon’s Sanchaung Township yesterday evening.
Swe Win is currently facing a lawsuit for insulting nationalist monk Wirathu on social media. Last year, he was awarded a presidential Certificate of Honour for a report in which he exposed years-long abuse of domestic helpers at a Rangoon-based tailoring shop.
Posting on Facebook following the alleged incident last night, Swe Win said he was on his way home from dinner with US Ambassador Scot Marciel when he had an encounter with three men at the corner of Baho Road and Myaungmya Street. The men reportedly approached him in an aggressive manner and asked if he was Swe Win, then threatened to beat him up.
Swe Win said he was informed by a bystander that the men had been drinking beer at a pub on the corner of Baho Road and Pyarpon Street from around 4pm. The Burmese journalist said he was able to look at footage from a CCTV camera at the establishment, and then reported the matter to neighbourhood officials.
Based on the CCTV footage, one of the men was identified as Tun Tun Zaw, who had already gone into hiding when police went to his house.
Swe Win said he planned to file a legal complaint against the men at Sanchaung township court on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, a Mandalay man who filed a defamation lawsuit against Swe Win for criticising senior monk Wirathu is now being sued under the same law, Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act, for making rude comments about Burma’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and her government.
Kyaw Myo Shwe, a private tutor in Mandalay, recently made headlines after he filed a lawsuit against Swe Win for making a remark on Facebook that Wirathu had violated the monastic code.
Mya Mya Htay, a member of the civil society group Network of the Promoters of Rule of Law, said she filed a legal complaint against Kyaw Myo Shwe with police in Rangoon’s Sanchaung Township on 8 March, citing his prior social media posts in which he cursed at Suu Kyi and suggested her government was “not fit to run a country, but only good enough to manage a brothel”.