Burmese-American journalist accuses junta of blindfolding, beating for interrogation

Nathan Maung, an American journalist of Burmese descent, was arrested by the Burmese military government on March 9 and released on March 15. He complained that he was beaten, slapped and even interrogated blindfolded for more than a week in prison, during which he was unable to sleep for several days.

According to Reuters, Nathan Munn, 44, editor-in-chief of the online media outlet Kamayut Media, was arrested at his office on March 9 and questioned about how the outlet operates and his job role. The media outlet stopped operating after the arrest.

“I was slapped, and no matter what I said, they just slapped me.” Nathan Munn alleges that he was beaten and abused while incarcerated and saw similar treatment of colleagues and others in prison. He said the first few days of his incarceration were the worst, including beatings on his eardrums, cheekbones and shoulders, during which he was not allowed to stand up and his legs were swollen and immobile.

During that time, Nathan was blindfolded and handcuffed behind his back, unable to sleep for about three or four days and interrogated constantly. However, he said the abuse decreased on the fourth day after authorities discovered he was a U.S. citizen.

Nathan Mang was born in Burma, but fled to the United States as a refugee in the 1990s and was later granted U.S. citizenship. He said a colonel removed his blindfold on his eighth day of captivity, took down his testimony and informed him that he was not charged with any crime and would be released when the situation calmed down.

Although he was released, Nathan was busy pointing out that many others in the prison had been beaten and abused even more severely than he had been, and that some had been put on the table with their handcuffed hands and beaten until they were seriously injured and bruised.

The U.S. Embassy said Nathan Munn met with U.S. officials after his release and received relevant help. Nessenmang has returned to the United States, and he was interviewed by reporters by telephone the day before yesterday (25) in Virginia.

The Burmese military government did not respond to Nathan’s allegations, saying those arrested were treated legally.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), nearly 5,200 people remain imprisoned since the Feb. 1 coup by the Burmese junta; at least 881 people have been killed by repressive forces.