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Journalist tortured by Myanmar military during detention recalls ordeal

ANI | Updated: Aug 03, 2021 17:29 IST

Naypyitaw [Myanmar], August 3 (ANI): A journalist who was detained in Myanmar shared his horrific torture which he endured at the hands of the Myanmar military.
Nathan Maung says he is still suffering the physical effects of the torture. He is one of nearly 7,000 people estimated to have been detained since the military in Myanmar seized power on February 1. He spoke to NHK about what happened during his time in custody.
Nathan Maung, a Myanmar-born American journalist, was arrested on March 9. He says dozens of soldiers raided the Yangon office of his online news platform, Kamayut Media.
They also arrested his colleague and Kamayut Media co-founder Han Thar Nyein and took them both, blindfolded, to a military-run interrogation center where, Nathan Maung says, "the terror began."
"Two soldiers took me to a dark room," he said. "They interrogated me for three-and-a-half days non-stop without sleeping. No water for two days. I was sitting on a chair all the time with my hands cuffed at the back," said Nathan Maung.
They asked him about his personal history, his media activities, his birth year, his hometown, which school he went to. Throughout the interrogation, he was blindfolded and his captors were beating him, reported NHK World.

His interrogators became even angrier when Nathan Maung told them he had been a refugee in Thailand long ago before moving to the United States. They demanded to know why he had fled Myanmar all those years ago.
Later, Nathan Maung found out later that his colleague, Han Thar Nyein, had been subjected to much worse because of his ties to members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.
"There are a lot of photos of him with Aung San Suu Kyi and with former president Htin Kyaw. And they saw the pictures, so he got beaten," Nathan Maung said. "They burned his skin with a cigarette. And there was a big ice block put on his legs for 24 hours."
The military wanted access to Han Thar Nyein's cell phone. He resisted giving them his passcode until, said Nathan Maung, they demanded he strip naked and threatened to rape him, reported NHK World.
They were held in the interrogation center for 15 days before they were charged with spreading false information and sent to Insein Prison, which is known for its overcrowded and inhumane conditions.
Nathan Maung was released on June 14 and deported to the US the following day, reported NHK World.
The military came to power in Myanmar on February 1, 2021. Former civilian leaders were arrested over allegations of election fraud. The country has been gripped by protests for several months afterward. (ANI)