Sunday, 17 November 2019

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No signs of improvement for Burma’s media community

New Delhi (Mizzima) - With several journalists and media personnel among the over 2,000 political prisoners, and the government’s censorship board continuing to restrict publications, Burma is holding firm in its position among countries with the lowest levels of press freedom.

Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), in its annual World Press Freedom Index, ranked Burma 171st globally, ahead only of bottom-feeders Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.

RSF, in the release, highlighted Burma’s ruling military junta’s continuing censorship of the press and imprisonment of journalists and media workers.

Son Moe Wai, Secretary of the Burma Media Association, a partner organization of RSF, told Mizzima Burma’s position in the Index is not surprising, as the military government continues to deliberately intimidate journalists, ban publications and revoke licenses.

“Nothing much has changed from previous years. Burma’s military junta continues to intimidate journalists and has arrested several of them. And a number of private weekly journals have seen the revocation of their licenses to print,” Son Moe Wai added.

Except for the release of four journalists - Eint Khaing Oo, Kyaw Kyaw Thant, Thet Sin and Aung Nyien - last month as part of the ruling junta’s amnesty to 7,114 prisoners across the country, Son Moe Wai said there have been no other significant actions by the government that indicate any sign of forthcoming improvement in the near future.

According to Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners – Burma’s political prisoner population, inclusive of members from the media community, remains at over 2,000.


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