“Attention Min Min, we know where you are. We can terminate your life anytime. Take care.”
This is the message which journalist, Min Min, received after he wrote about an armed organisation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which he described as a ‘rebel group’.
In Rakhine State, these death threats are very real. The situation is volatile, and human rights defenders and journalists face many challenges including restrictions on movement, surveillance by state authorities and threats from hard-line nationalist groups.
In March 2016 a bomb exploded at Min Min’s home. Fortunately Min Min and his family were not home at the time. He’s been called a ‘traitor’ for reporting about hardline nationalist groups in Rakhine State, and a cash reward has been offered for his murder.
Min Min has reported the threats to the police but nothing has been done.
Journalists and other media workers play a crucial role in exposing human rights abuses, both by the government and powerful local groups; they must be free to carry out their activities.