The Story of Hla Hla Win, a Burmese Democratic Voice in Prison

by Khet Mar    /  July 29, 2011  / No comments



DVB Reporter Hla Hla Win, Photo: DVB

Thanks to the efforts of brave Burmese video journalists, images of violence from the Saffron Revolution in September 2007–during which Burmese troops arrested more than 200 monks, and killed at least 13 people, including Japanese photo-journalist Kenji Nagai–have been seen all around the world.

Since then, Burmese security forces have made an enemy of anyone who sends photos or video of the current conditions in Burma to foreign news outlets. Around 20 journalists and bloggers have been arrested and at least 13 are still in prison. According to a statement released by the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), these journalists may have been tortured during interrogation.

Last December two DVB video journalists were arrested and sentenced up to 13 years in prison. They joined 15 other DVB reporters who have also been detained.

The following video shows the story of Hla Hla Win, a 26 year-old DVB reporter in prison with a 27 year sentence for interviewing a monk during the Saffron Revolution’s failed peaceful uprising. After her arrest, Hla Hla Win went on a hunger strike for several days and was hospitalized because of her rapidly deteriorating health.

A senior representative of the DVB told Reporters Without Borders that the sentence imposed on Hla Hla Win was “unjust” because all she did was “gather information about the situation in Burma, nothing more.”


Video: DVB TV

Read media groups’ call for release of imprisoned Burmese journalists

About the Author

Khet Mar is a staff writer at Sampsonia Way. A former writer-in-residence at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Khet Mar is a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist from Burma. She is the author of one novel, Wild Snowy Night, as well as several collections of short stories, essays and poems. Her work has been translated into English and Japanese, been broadcast on radio, and made into a film. In the fall of 2007, Mar was a visiting fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

View all articles by Khet Mar

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm