Burma

2011


Blog   |   Burma, USA

Clinton must tread carefully in Burma

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinto is greeted by Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Myo Myint, right, upon her arrival in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Wednesday. (AP)

When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets this week with Burmese President Thein Sein, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and senior ranking members of the military establishment, she conspicuously will not have the opportunity to meet with journalist Sithu Zeya.

Sithu was detained by police after recording the impact of a bomb that exploded in a crowded Burmese marketplace in April 2010. The journalist was sentenced to 17 years in prison on charges related specifically to his reporting activities, with an additional 10 years tacked on this year -- soon after Thein Sein announced his intention to increase media freedom in Burma.

November 30, 2011 1:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma

Watching Burma's prisoner release

Police assist a newly released prisoner at Insein Prison in Yangon Wednesday. (Reuters)

CPJ and other Burma watchers are monitoring the announcements of the unfolding prisoner release closely. As a press freedom organization, we've focused most closely on the fate of the 14 journalists we counted in jail in Shawn Crispin's report, "In Burma, transition neglects press freedom" that we posted on September 20. In our alert today we welcomed the release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, bringing that number down to 13, and there's a chance the number might even be lower.

Reports   |   Burma, Multimedia

Video report: Burma's undercover heroes

In "Burma's undercover heroes," CPJ's Shawn Crispin describes the vital work being done by reporters for the Democratic Voice of Burma. Working undercover in a highly restricted nation, these journalists are the eyes and ears for the rest of world. They work at great risk of imprisonment and harassment. (2:30)

Read our accompanying special report, "In Burma, transition neglects press freedom."

September 20, 2011 12:02 AM ET

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Reports   |   Burma

Imprisoned journalists in Burma

At a protest in Bangkok, images of the jailed journalist Hla Hla Win. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Published September 20, 2011

Burma has a long record of jailing independent journalists, ranking among the world’s five worst jailers of the press for four consecutive years, CPJ research shows. Journalists are typically charged with violating the country’s censorship laws, among the strictest in the world, or engaging in “antistate” activities such as disseminating information to the outside world. 

Alerts   |   Burma

Burmese journalist given additional 10-year sentence

Bangkok, September 15, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the 10-year jail sentence handed down to Burmese journalist Sithu Zeya, a photographer with the Norway-based, exile-run Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), and calls on the government to reverse the ruling and stop its retaliation against exile-affiliated journalists.

September 15, 2011 1:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma

Free Burma VJ campaign urges release of journalists

From Paris to Bangkok, London to Geneva, the Free Burma VJ campaign will stage protests in front of Burmese embassies on Friday to call for the immediate release of 17 jailed video journalists working for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), a leading Burmese exile media organization. The campaign began less than two months after Burma's new government was sworn in, supposedly hailing the beginning of Burma's transition to civilian rule. But DVB is not alone in thinking that the ongoing incarceration of journalists, who are among the nearly 2,000 political prisoners in Burma, is a sign that little has changed since the ostensible end to military rule.

Blog   |   Burma

Press freedom requires action, not talk, in Burma

Burmese taxi drivers read a newspaper featuring a picture of newly sworn-in president Thein Sein. (AFP/Soe Than Win)

Burma's newly installed democratic government has sent tentative signals that it intends to allow for more media openness as the country transitions from military to civilian rule. The continued detention of more than 2,100 political prisoners, including as many as 25 journalists, however, belies President Thein Sein's recent press-promoting pronouncements.

Blog   |   Burma

Burmese exile news site endures hacking, DDoS attacks

Like other Burmese exile-run media, the Irrawaddy has been plagued by numerous denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in recent years that have forced its website to be shut down. Now, Aung Zaw, the publication's founder and editor, believes Burma's military-backed regime has adopted a new cyber-attack strategy that aims to undermine the exile media's credibility among readers.
May 2, 2011 11:57 AM ET

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Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors

The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression. A CPJ special report by Danny O’Brien

A security line outside Google's Beijing office. (AP/Andy Wong)

Reports   |   Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Multimedia, Russia, Syria, Tunisia

Audio Report: The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors




In our special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors," CPJ examines the 10 prevailing strategies of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. In this accompanying podcast, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney notes that these strategies range from sophisticated cyber-attacks to traditional brute-force techniques. Listen to the podcast on the player above, or right click here to download an MP3. (2:47)

Read CPJ's special report, "The 10 Tools of Online Oppressors."

May 2, 2011 8:44 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Australia, Burma

Australian editor released on bail, faces trial in Burma

New York, March 29, 2011--Ross Dunkley, founder and editor of the Myanmar Times weekly newspaper, was released on bail from a Burmese prison today, according to international news reports. Dunkley, an Australian citizen arrested February 10 amid tense negotiations over the future of the weekly, had been denied several earlier requests for release on bail. 

March 29, 2011 12:31 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Burma, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2010: Asia Analysis

Partisan Journalism and the Cycle of Repression

With journalists in their midst, police and protesters clash in Bangkok. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

by Bob Dietz and Shawn W. Crispin

Lal Wickramatunga's family and publishing house, Leader Publications, have paid dearly in Sri Lanka's highly charged political climate. While Leader's newspapers, including the weekly Sunday Leader, are widely known for tough, independent reporting, they have been caught up in a partisan media environment, one filled with violence and censorship. Wickramatunga's brother has been murdered, his company has been sued, and his journalists face intimidation.

Attacks on the Press   |   Burma

Attacks on the Press 2010: Burma

Top Developments
• Junta bars foreign reporters, censors speech prior to national election.
• Aung San Suu Kyi freed, but government still jails journalists, critics.

Key Statistic
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."

February 15, 2011 12:43 AM ET

Alerts   |   Burma

Burmese video journalist given 13 years in jail

New York, February 11, 2011--Burma's new government under Prime Minister Thein Sein must put an end to the former military junta's despicable policy of imprisoning independent journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The most recent case to come to light is the 13-year sentencing of Maung Maung Zeya in a trial held within Insein Prison on February 4. Staff at the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), for which the journalist worked, confirmed the decision to CPJ. Maung Maung Zeya was convicted for contacting Burmese exiled media and violating the Electronics Act. The court's sentence came on the same day Thein Sein was sworn into office. 

February 11, 2011 4:27 PM ET

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