The army’s regional command is making inquiries over a lawsuit filed by senior Irrawaddy reporter Kyaw Tun against a military officer after he was attacked while reporting a story on land grabbing.

Police Major Than Myint Oo from Hlinethaya Township said on June 25 he was unsure whether the case would be dealt with by the military or the local police.

“The Yangon military command is now examining the complaint. A sub-inspector has been summoned to present the case. Whether the case will be dealt with by the military or the police, we don’t know yet. We are still waiting for a letter from the regional police headquarters,” said the major.

The reporter was interviewing farmer Aung Min Hlaing in Hlinethaya Township on May 31 over a story over land-grabbing by the army.

A mob of 30 people holding sticks and wielding machetes attacked the house cutting the power supply. When the reporter took a picture of the scene, three men stabbed him and he was rushed by motorcycle to the Light Infantry No. 532 headquarters where he was then interrogated.

The reporter was then released and subsequently sued for trespassing at the nearest township police station.

The reporter Kyaw Tun has in turn filed a case against  a military officer and his accomplices said to be involved in the attack, citing robbery and assault.

The police at first refused to accept the charges and insisted they should be submitted to a court. When the reporter submitted his case to court, they said it would be handled only when the respective military command gave an order.

The Section 7 of the current Media Law states that security forces must not detain or arrest a reporter who is covering areas of armed conflicts, uprisings or public protests in accord with the rules of the concerned organisation.

In such cases the reporter may ask for security from the authorities who have a duty to protect him.