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Press Club seeks release of AP journalist jailed in Myanmar

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Press Club called on Myanmar to immediately release an Associated Press journalist who was arrested last week while photographing security forces charging at anti-coup protesters.

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This undated family photo provided on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 shows Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw in Yangon, Myanmar. (Thein Zaw family via AP)

Authorities have charged Thein Zaw and five other members of the media with violating a public order law that could see them imprisoned for up to three years.

A video of the arrest shows Zaw being quickly surrounded and held in a chokehold as handcuffs are placed on him.

The Associated Press has also called for Zaw’s immediate release and condemned his arrest and “arbitrary detention.”

In a statement Thursday, National Press Club President Lisa Nicole Matthews, AP’s assignment manager for U.S. video, and National Press Club Journalism Institute President Angela Greiling Kean expressed concern for Zaw’s safety.

“We believe he was simply doing his job as a journalist and look forward to his swift release,” the statement said.