The Myanmar Journalist Network on Tuesday urged Burmese authorities to immediately apprehend the culprit in the murder of a Monywa-based correspondent for Eleven Media, Soe Moe Tun.
Soe Moe Tun’s body was found with cuts and bruises on his face beside a road just past midnight on Tuesday. Eleven Media confirmed its employee’s death in a statement, saying his body was discovered in Monywa’s Aung Chanthar ward and that police had opened a murder investigation.
The deceased’s belongings, including his motorbike, two mobile phones, a ring and some money were found at the scene, making robbery an unlikely motive for the killing.
In a statement on Tuesday, MJN expressed its condolences and urged media organisations to consider arrangements to protect their reporters, while also warning journalists to take precautions to ensure their own safety.
“We are seeing two types of threats to journalists. One is a physical threat, including harm to one’s life, and the other is a legal threat,” said the MJN’s joint-secretary, Zeyar Hlaing.
“In the case of the physical threat, there are many varying factors, based on the subject being covered. Journalists must take into account existing dangers in scenarios such as reporting at frontlines covering a conflict, or in the wilderness working on an environmental issue.”
“Regarding legal threats — this can be dealt with by ensuring media ethics because there are certain ethical violations that can result in lawsuits.”
The CEO and chief editor of Eleven Media are also currently in a legal battle with the Yangon Division government. CEO Than Htut Aung and chief editor Phyo Wai are on trial for defamation over an article published under the former’s by-line which implied that Yangon Division Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein had been bribed in the awarding of a lucrative city expansion tender.
Soe Moe Tun began working as Eleven Media’s local correspondent in Monywa, Sagaing Division, in January 2015.
The Monywa police investigation into his death is ongoing.