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Press release

UNESCO Director-General calls for investigation into death of photojournalist Soe Naing in Myanmar


The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has expressed her deep concern over the death of the freelance journalist Soe Naing who reportedly died in custody.

According to reports, the photojournalist died on 14 December in Rangoon, Myanmar, four days after he was arrested. 

I urge an investigation into the circumstances of Soe Naing’s death. Detention of journalists is a source of great concern to UNESCO. Journalists must be able to conduct their work in freedom and safe from physical harm and mistreatments.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Soe Naing, a freelance reporter and photographer, had been covering events in Myanmar since the military coup on 1 February 2021. He was arrested on 10 December while covering a silent demonstration to mark International Human Rights Day. He was held in a military interrogation centre and reportedly died after four days in detention.

Violence against journalists has increased in Myanmar this year.

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. 


See also: UNESCO observatory of killed journalists 

Media contact: Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi, g.godoi@unesco.org