Geneva: Freelance photojournalist Ko Soe Naing died lately under the Myanmar military custody and thus the young scribe becomes the first media victim in the country (also known as Burma or Brahmadesh) after the 1 February 2021 military coup that deposed the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi led government in Naypietaw.

Naing, who used to contribute for various media outlets of the south-east Asian country, was arrested from Yangon while he was covering an anti-junta demonstration on 10 December (Human Rights Day) in the former capital of Myanmar. Later he was sent to a military interrogation center, where he died probably on 14 December. Naing left behind his wife, a minor son and other relatives.

“Unconfirmed reports suggest that nearly 90 Burmese citizens died during interrogation since the coup day. With the ground input, we claim that Ko Soe Naing is the first media worker who died in Myanmar military custody since 1 February. We reiterate our demand to Myanmar dictator Min Aung Hlaing for releasing all prisoners including the journalists,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC.

Speaking to Nava Thakuria, PEC’s south-east Asia representative, a Yangon (formerly Rangoon)-based journalist informed that the Burmese photojournalist was initially trained as a graphic designer and later he started taking photographs of various anti-military demonstrations. On some occasions, his photographs were also used by a number of outside agencies, which gave Naing instant visibility inside the country.