Myanmar police detained two journalists working for Turkey's public broadcaster TRT World on Friday, along with a local journalist and driver for allegedly importing a drone into the country without permission.
Turkey's English-language public broadcaster, TRT World, said on Tuesday that Myanmar's Information Ministry "was previously informed about all filming activities and the filming schedule," of two journalists and their support crew prior to their detention in the capital, Naypyitaw.
Myanmar police on Friday detained two journalists working forTRT World, as well their local interpreter and driver for allegedly importing a drone into the country without permission.
The two journalists have been remanded for a hearing scheduled for November 10. No date has been given for a hearing for the driver and interpreter, who also remain in detention.
According to a statement released by TRT World , the journalists – Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia – were filming a documentary.
"Our crew wanted to film the parliament building in the capital with a drone, after conducting an interview with a member of parliament. They were detained by security officials before flying the drone."
The journalists were questioned at a police station in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw after being detained in the morning.
TRT World's full statement on detained journalists
TRT World Producer Mok Choy Lin, alongside her colleagues Singapore national Lau Hon Meng (freelance camera operator), Myanmar citizen Aung Naing Soe (freelance journalist) and their driver Hla Tin, were detained by the authorities in Myanmar on Friday, October 27.
They were filming a documentary.
Mok Choy Lin and Lau Hon Meng arrived in Yangon on October 21 with journalist visas issued by the Myanmar government.
They shot in various locations with conventional cameras as well as with a drone, up until October 27.
The Myanmar Information Ministry was previously informed about all filming activities and the filming schedule.
According to information TRT World has gathered from local journalists who are in touch with Myanmar security officials and our team, our crew wanted to film the parliament building in the capital with a drone, after conducting an interview with a member of parliament. They were detained by security officials before flying the drone.
Security officials have stated that our crew was detained under an import/export law, which regulates the entry of drones into the country.
Aung Naing Soe's home was raided by police, his computer and hard disk were confiscated, and he was denied access to his family and lawyers.
Malaysia citizen Mok Choy Lin, and freelance cameraman Lau Hon Meng, a citizen of Singapore, are being held at a police centre.
Their detention period has been extended to November 10, after a court ruled they should not be released before their first hearing.
Myanmar citizens Aung Naing Soe and Hla Tin are being held at a different prison. No date has yet been given for their hearing.
The Turkish embassy in Yangon is closely following the incident in coordination with the Malaysia and Singapore embassies.
At TRT World, we are also closely watching developments and providing support for our colleague, her crew and their families.