Bangladesh grants bail to two detained Myanmar journalists

Myanmar Journalists Minzayar Oo, left, and Hkun Lat, who were detained in Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 23 September 2017
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Bangladesh grants bail to two detained Myanmar journalists

DHAKA: Two journalists from Myanmar, who had been detained in Bangladesh while reporting on the influx of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, have been released on bail, a police official said on Saturday.
The journalists, Minzayar Oo and Hkun Lat, were detained in early September in the Cox’s Bazar border region of Bangladesh, where refugees are arriving from Myanmar to escape a military offensive against insurgents.
“A court granted them bail, but they can’t go back to their country now,” police official Ranajit Kumar Barua, told Reuters by telephone, adding that the court would decide whether the two could leave the country at a separate hearing which may take place sometime in the next week.
A lawyer for the two journalists also confirmed their release, but did not provide any further detail.
Bangladesh police had said that the pair were detained for engaging in journalistic work for a German magazine, while on tourist visas.
More than 422,000 refugees from Myanmar have poured into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts triggered a Myanmar army crackdown in response.
Germany’s GEO magazine, which had assigned Minzayar Oo to cover the Rohingya crisis, said he had traveled to Bangladesh on Sept. 6, and was detained the next day.
Minzayar Oo is one of Myanmar’s most prominent photographers and has worked for various media outlets, covering the country’s emergence from military rule. He has previously worked as a contractor with Reuters.
Hkun Lat is also a well-known photographer in Myanmar and has won prizes for his coverage of conflict in frontier regions.


Turks abroad vote at record level in elections

Updated 26 min 42 sec ago
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Turks abroad vote at record level in elections

  • Voting at Turkish diplomatic missions abroad began on June 7
  • The elections are taking place in Turkey on Sunday

ISTANBUL: The number of Turks voting abroad in this month’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey rose to a record level of 1.49 million, the head of the High Election Board, Sadi Guven, said on Wednesday.
The elections are taking place in Turkey on Sunday, when President Tayyip Erdogan will be seeking to extend his 15-year rule and assume sweeping new presidential powers which he says the country needs to address economic and security threats.
Voting at Turkish diplomatic missions abroad began on June 7 and finished on Tuesday evening. Polls suggest the elections may be close, with Erdogan’s AK Party possibly losing its parliamentary majority and the presidential vote potentially going to a second round.
Some 3.047 million Turkish voters are registered abroad, meaning the turnout of foreign voters currently stands at 48.8 percent. Expatriates can still vote at Turkey’s border gates until June 24.
The turnout level in Turkey itself is generally much higher and stood at 85 percent at the last parliamentary election in November 2015.
In that election, the number of voters abroad totalled 1.3 million and in a referendum last year the number rose to 1.4 million, according to data from state-run Anadolu news agency.