Alice Driver | Longreads | May 2018 | 11 minutes (2,616 words)

“Welcome to the Democratic Dictatorship of Myanmar,” said a slight, young woman on the street in Yangon, Myanmar. She was referencing the number of journalists in the country who had been threatened or jailed by the theoretically democratic government. Yangon is tangled roots and the shade of 100-year-old trees; it is the sound of hundreds of wings flapping as young men feed pigeons, their feathers flashing golden in the early-morning light; it is journalists imprisoned for speaking truth to power.


When I arrived in Yangon in January 2018, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been in prison for a little over a month. Much had changed since I had lived in the city in 2006, volunteering at an international high school with my best friend Tien, both of us living at a government-run hotel…

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