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Burmese journalist criticises police over assault probe delay

A reporter at a Yangon daily newspaper has complained about the slow progress of a police investigation into an alleged assault by local officials at Hmawbi earlier in November 2013.

"There is still no sign of progress in the investigation," Khaing Lin Soe from The Voice Daily told a news conference at the Myanmar Journalists' Network office in downtown Yangon's Kyauktada township on November 7.

Khaing Lin Soe said he was being accompanied by a friend, Aung Zaw Lin, when the incident occurred in Hmawbi on the evening of November 3.

Khaing Lin Soe said the alleged assault occurred when they encountered three street-level administrators while he was gathering information for a story.

He said the street administrators had complained about the activities of journalists, with one saying: "You intrude everywhere."

"All I had done was to seek information for the story," Khaing Lin Soe said.

Khaing Lin Soe said that 80,000 kyat and a handphone was taken from him during the alleged assault and 20,000 kyat had been taken from Aung Zaw Lin.

He told the news conference that when he went to Hmawbi police station to report the alleged assault, he was told that nothing could be done because the inspector was on leave.

The editor of The Voice, Aung Soe, said a formal complaint had been made to police over the incident and it was up to the courts to decide who had acted illegally.

"If Khaing Soe Lin needs a lawyer for his trial, we will help him," Aung Soe said.

Asked by Mizzima about the investigation, a police sergeant at Hmawbi acknowledged that it had not been completed because witnesses still needed to be questioned.

"The inspector is on leave and our station is short of staff," a police sergeant told Mizzima.

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