Myanmar courts extend detention of 6 journalists

A Myanmar court is extending the detention of five journalists, including one from the Associated Press, who were arrested last month while covering protests against the coup.

The journalists did not attend Friday’s (March 12) hearing in person, but followed proceedings via video conference from prison. Their lawyers also appeared to have difficulty gaining access.

They were arrested on February 27 and have not been allowed access to see their families or lawyers in person since.

Tin Zar Oo is the lawyer representing Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw.

“The charge of Section 505(A) against him has got nothing to do with him doing his job. We can discuss later about the case after hearing from the court. But we can say he did nothing wrong on the charge base on our case study from various perspectives."

Another court extended detention until March 25 for a sixth journalist, from Myanmar Now, according to group's editor-in-chief.

Court officials did not comment.

The U.S. state department has voiced concern over the arrests and called for the immediate release of the journalists.

Recent days have been some of the deadliest since the military took power.

Among the casualties on Thursday were eight people killed in the town of Myaing when security forces fired on a protest, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said.

Video obtained by Reuters also showed security forces leading men to large trucks, and one being hit with a baton.

Vehicles have also been heard broadcasting warnings about a night curfew and against making barricades.