Attacks on the Press
• Junta bars foreign reporters, censors speech prior to national election.
Aung San Suu Kyi freed, but government still jails journalists, critics.
13: Journalists imprisoned as of December 1, the fourth‐highest figure in the world.
After nearly five decades of uninterrupted military rule, Burma moved toward an uncertain new era in November when it staged national elections and freed the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The new parliament, although dominated by the military junta's chosen candidates, was the first civilian government in the country since 1962. Military leaders, notorious for their international isolation, sought international legitimacy through the election. "But the vote was so rigged, it had the opposite effect," The Washington Post
noted in an editorial. "Rules were written so that, no matter how people voted, the military would retain control; but even so, the regime could not resist Election Day intimidation and ballot-box stuffing."