Security Forces Arrest Foreign Photojournalist in Taunggyi

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Security forces assaulted and arrested a foreign photojournalist who was taking photos during a demonstration in southern Shan State on March 11.

Security Forces Arrest Foreign Photojournalist in Taunggyi 1
Security Forces Arrest Foreign Photojournalist in Taunggyi 1

The man was taken to the immigration office in Taunggyi, a witness who requested anonymity told SHAN. According to the source, the man’s name is Robert and is a Polish freelance photojournalist who was recently published on CNN.

Polish television network TVN24 confirmed with Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday that a Polish national named Robert Bociaga was arrested by Burmese authorities.

On his website, Bociaga describes himself as a “traveling photojournalist specializing in international Affairs”. It states he holds a master’s degree in law.

At the demonstration in Taunggyi, peaceful protesters were attacked with teargas and rubber bullets. Two youth were injured after being struck with rubber bullets and a female protester fainted from exposure to tear gas.

Security Forces Arrest Foreign Photojournalist in Taunggyi 2
Security Forces Arrest Foreign Photojournalist in Taunggyi 2

LID-55 soldiers ransacked a home in Mingalar Oo, arresting the owner. The homeowner was taken to their military camp before being released.

“They suspected that youths were hiding in civilian’s homes. When they don’t find protesters inside the house they destroyed their personal items and arrested the home owner,” according to a witness.

Security forces also raided homes in Yadana Thiri and Yay Aye Kwin wards, and like in Mingalar Oo they destroyed people’s things, including motorbikes.

Taunggyi residents said the situation keeps getting worse every day.

“They have lost their sense of humanity,” a witness from Yay Aye Kwin told SHAN.  

“They’re threatening people and making them feel afraid,” another unnamed source said. “It’s been over a month since the military government took over and everything’s falling apart.”

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