Kyaw Min Khine, the owner of Bi Mon Te Nay weekly news journal, his wife Dr Ei Ei San, and the newspaper’s office manager, Yin Min Htun, were arrested on 16 July in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, according to the journal’s chief reporter Thein Min Aung.
The Burmese newspaper publisher had apparently been in hiding from Burmese authorities for over a week since three editors were arrested by Special Branch police on 8 July following the publication of an article that falsely claimed Aung San Suu Kyi and some ethnic leaders had been installed in an interim government.
Kyaw Min Khine, Ei Ei San and Yin Min Htun were reportedly staying at the house of a friend in Mae Sot where they were arrested by Thai police on Wednesday.
Kyaw Min Khine and Ei Ei San’s two sons, aged 10 and 7, were also in the house at the time of the raid, but they were later returned to the custody of their grandfather in Rangoon.
Wednesday’s arrest brings to seven the total number of persons apprehended in connection with the front page headline on 7 July that read: “The MDCF [Movement for Democracy Current Force] states the people have appointed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic democracy forces as the interim government”.
Three editors and a reporter were previously detained.
An unconfirmed report suggested that Kyaw Min Khine, Ei Ei San and Yin Min Htun were taken to Pabedan Township Court and charged under the Emergency Provisions Act before being remanded in custody.
If convicted, the media workers could face up to seven years in prison.
Chief reporter Thein Min Aung said that the Bi Mon Te Nay (literally Bi-Midday Sun) has ceased publishing since the scandal, but plans are afoot to reopen its pilot newspaper, Mon Te Nay.