Local police have filed criminal charges against two men accused of attempting to abduct a Karenni State journalist last week.
Maw Oo Myar was traveling with a fellow journalist on Friday evening from Loikaw, the Karenni State capital, to neighbouring Demoso Township. Two men in a vehicle cut the pair off before forcing Maw Oo Myar into their car, which was later involved in an accident that left the victim unconscious.
Demoso police told DVB the accused men, identified as Sein Win and Kaung San, will face charges under four separate articles of the Penal Code, including article 366 in relation to “kidnapping, abducting or inducing [a] woman to compel her marriage” or coerced sexual intercourse.
“Sein Win and Kaung San, who intimidated Maw Oo Myar and dragged her to a car by force, are now facing criminal charges,” said Second Lieutenant Tin Maung Lin.
According to a statement released the day after the incident by her employer, the Kantarawaddy Times, the 23-year-old victim has covered a range of topics in her community including women’s rights, business and health. She also produces a weekly Karenni-language segment for DVB, in collaboration with the ethnic media network Burma News International.
In the same statement, the Karenni news journal confirmed that she was under guard while recovering at Demoso Hospital.
Kantarawaddy Times assistant editor Soe Soe Myar told DVB by phone that Maw Oo Myar has regained consciousness, and added that she had been threatened “two weeks before the incident.”
“Maw Oo Myar’s health condition has improved [but] she still cannot speak,” Soe Soe Myar said on Wednesday.
The accused men, who are being detained at a Demoso Township police station, are also facing charges under article 337, covering acts endangering another’s life or personal safety; article 506, relating to criminal intimidation; and 114, abetment to a crime. If found guilty of article 366 alone, both of the accused could face prison terms of up to 10 years.