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Actress accuses censor of bias over racy photo spread

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burmese actress Su Shoon Lei has accused the junta’s censorship board of bias, after the weekly Envoy News Journal had its next issue banned after publishing a picture of her wearing a short skirt in a two-page spread.

Burma’s censor, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, penalised the publisher as it deemed the photo’s revelation of her upper thigh in the issue that came out today “culturally inappropriate”. Envoy is owned by movie director Zinyaw Maung Maung.

“Some photos of Burmese fashion models in journals were worse than that. Some fashion models wore short skirts covering just their hips, but the censor board … overlooked them. Why were those photos allowed?”, Su Shun Lei told Mizzima.

The July 5 issue of Popular Journal featured cover photos of actresses Eindra Kyaw Zin and Wut Mhone Shwe Yi in short skirts, so the state censor banned the journal’s following issue, Burmese editor said.

The photos published by the two journals were deemed incompatible with Burmese culture, he quoted the state censor as saying.

This afternoon, censorship board director Major Tint Swe invited 30 reporters from pop magazines and warned them about photos of actresses and fashion models, according to an editor who attended the meeting.

“Tint Swe said that magazines need to be cautious about such cases and warned that if magazines broke the rules they would be banned for one or two months”, the editor told Mizzima.

Mizzima contacted the banned journals but staff refused to disclose any details of the case, saying they were denied to speak on such matters.

In the past, when magazines used photos state censors deemed culturally inappropriate, they received merely a warning. This is the first time journals have been banned on such grounds.

Because of the punishments, the banned journals will lose income from advertisements, though they will save on printing costs for the duration of the ban.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 July 2010 12:30 )  

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