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Three editors of the Bi Mon Te Nay (literally “Bi-Noonday Sun”) weekly news journal are being questioned by Rangoon police over a front-page report published on Monday claiming Aung San Suu Kyi and some ethnic leaders had been installed in an interim government.
On 7 July, activist group the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF), marking the anniversary of a 1962 massacre at Rangoon University, distributed copies of a statement to passers-by in front of the Rangoon City Hall claiming Suu Kyi and prominent ethnic leaders had been appointed by “the people” to form an interim government.
That same morning, Bi Mon Te Nay published its issue for the week, but with a print date of 11 July; the front-page headline screamed in red: “The MDCF states the people have appointed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic democracy forces as the interim government”.
On Tuesday, state-run media announced that the government was preparing to take action against the journal over the article, because it “may cause misunderstanding among the readers and defamation of the government, undermine the stability of the state, and damage public interests.”
Aung Aung, chief reporter of Bi Mon Te Nay journal, told DVB on Tuesday that three editors of the journal had been apprehended by the Special Intelligence Department (commonly known as the Special Branch) just after midnight.
“The Special Branch came for two of our editors around 12:30 and the editor-in-charge around 4am – they are still under interrogation at the police office on Pansodan Road,” he said via phone on Tuesday afternoon.
“The police also came to the journal office this afternoon and seized three computers.”
MDCF member Than Than Maw said the group’s Rangoon division coordinator Naung Naung was also arrested by the police around 1am on Tuesday.