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Friend: Australian editor detained in Myanmar

From Kocha Olarn CNN
  • NEW: Arrest comes amid a business dispute with the paper's local partner
  • Friend: Police try to charge him with immigration violation
  • Evidence to prosecute him on that charge is insufficient, friend says

(CNN) -- The Australian editor of a Myanmar newspaper was arrested last week from his home in Yangon, a friend of the editor said Monday.

Police were trying to charge Ross Dunkley, the editor of the Myanmar Times, with an immigration violation, according to his friend.

"It turned out they did not have enough grounds to prosecute on that charge," David Armstrong said.

Myanmar Times is one of a few newspapers owned and run by a foreigner in the nation. Dunkley's arrest comes amid a business dispute with the paper's local partner.

The nation elected a new president this month, and has a notorious record of suppressing speech and media freedom. Thousands of political activists remain in jail.

Dunkley, who exercises his editorial power despite a censorship process, publishes in English and the local language.

The next court hearing is scheduled for February 24 in Yangon.