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Myanmar coup: Manipur scribes’ body seeks safe passage for journalists taking refuge in state

“We learnt from reliable sources that the three journalists from Mizzima news organisation fled Myanmar and were holed up somewhere in Moreh in Manipur,” AMWJU president, Bijoy Kakchingtabam said.

Published: 16th April 2021 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2021 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Myanmar democracy protests

Protesters shout slogans and display images of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi during an anti-coup protest march in Mandalay, Myanmar. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Three journalists have fled the coup-hit Myanmar and are taking refuge in Manipur.

This comes after over 2,000 Myanmar nationals, including 14 lawmakers, fled to Mizoram.

The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) appealed to the Manipur government to give the trio the respect that journalists are accorded anywhere and safe passage to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in New Delhi.

“We learnt from reliable sources that the three journalists from Mizzima news organisation fled Myanmar and were holed up somewhere in Moreh in Manipur,” AMWJU president, Bijoy Kakchingtabam said.

He said the state government was yet to communicate with the AMWJU on the matter.

ALSO READ | Myanmar coup: 14 lawmakers among 2,000 enter Mizoram to escape deadly junta

“The Mizzima is an independent media organisation of Myanmar locals, and the journalists, taking shelter in Moreh, are living in fear that they may be pushed back to Myanmar where their lives and security would be in great danger. They are also fearful of harassment by the Indian security establishment,” the scribes’ body said in a statement.

After the February military takeover in Myanmar, the junta has taken away the licence of Mizzima, arrested several of its journalists, raided the Mizzima office in Yangon and froze its bank account, the AMWJU said in the statement.

The statement further said the fleeing journalists were refugees, seeking asylum in India due to persecution in Myanmar.

“We appeal to the Manipur government to make necessary concessions to allow the journalists to come to Imphal and that all facilities are extended to them, so they can proceed to Delhi to seek the protection of UNHCR,” the statement added.

The Centre had earlier issued instructions to the Assam Rifles and four northeastern states such as Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to thwart any possible influx of people from Myanmar.



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