Nobel Women’s Initiative is deeply concerned by the detention of women’s human rights defender and journalist Thin Thin Aung and we call for her immediate release.
Thin Thin Aung was arrested in Myanmar on April 8, 2021 and taken to Yay Kyi Eaing Investigation Centre. On April 9, the military raided Thin Thin Aung’s house and her bank account was seized.
Thin Thin Aung began her career as a journalist with the BBC and in 1998 she started Mizzima News Agency. She is also the founder of the Women’s League of Burma and has dedicated her life to working for democracy, peace, and human rights in Myanmar.
We are also extremely concerned for Thin Thin Aung’s health as she recently resigned from Mizzima News Agency due to health concerns for which she requires daily medication. It is not known whether she has been given access to this much-need medicine while in detention.
Since the military coup of February 1, the people of Myanmar have led nationwide mass protests calling for human rights to be respected, for an end to repression and arbitrary detention and and the reversal of the coup leading to a new constitution for a functioning democratic State. For these calls, and despite engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, thousands have faced violence, detention and extrajudicial killings.
Journalists have been targeted with just under 60 media workers having been detained or charged since February. And women human rights defenders are at increased risk for courageously and truthfully speaking out against the coup and in defence of democratic institutions.
We stand with the people of Myanmar and call for the immediate release of Thin Thin Aung and all other detained human rights defenders. We also call on the international community to show solidarity with the people of Myanmar and demand an end to the detentions and the suppression of citizen voices.
Finally, having had the chance to work directly with Thin Thin Aung, we know of her personal strength, commitment to justice and capacity to work for change leading to peace. Action is needed now to ensure the health and safety of Thin Thin Aung and that the human rights of the people of Myanmar are upheld.
Still I Rise: A tribute to my brave friend, Nandita Haksar, 10 April 2021.