Bangkok, July 23, 2014--Burmese authorities should drop national security-related charges brought against journalists and staff members of the Bi Mon Te Nay (Bi-Midday Sun) news journal, and release them from pre-trial detention immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, July 10, 2014--Donor countries should bring diplomatic pressure on Burma's government and reconsider their economic support for the country following Thursday's sentencing of four journalists of a magazine and the publication's chief executive to 10 years of hard labor in prison, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
New York, May 8, 2014--An Australian journalist covering protests in Burma was deported by authorities today, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the move.
Bangkok, April 7, 2014--A Burmese journalist was sentenced to one year in prison today on charges of "trespassing" and "disturbing an on-duty civil servant" while reporting a news story, according to local reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for the verdict to be overturned on appeal.
Dear President Thein Sein: We are writing to express our concern about shrinking press freedom in Burma and urge you to veto media legislation that was passed this month by your country's parliament. The bill, which awaits your signature, maintains a censorship role for state authorities and threatens to reverse several of the gains achieved to date under your democratic reform program.
In a clear step backwards for press freedom in Burma, new legislation will give the government censorship powers and the sole authority to issue and revoke news publication licenses. While the legislation enshrines into law broad press freedom guarantees, specific provisions will give the Ministry of Information ultimate power over what news is permissible for publication.
The media landscape in Burma is more open than ever, as President Thein Sein releases imprisoned journalists and abolishes the former censorship regime. But many threats and obstacles to truly unfettered reporting remain, including restrictive laws held over from the previous military regime. The wider government’s commitment to a more open reporting environment is in doubt. A CPJ special report by Shawn W. Crispin
Early moves by Thein Sein to ease Internet censorship are viewed as a limited concession to press freedom, since Burma has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in the world. Now, planned foreign investments in mobile infrastructure promise to expand access, but a draft telecommunications law would leave intact many of the vague legal restrictions used to curb online freedoms in the past. By Shawn W. Crispin
Burmese President Thein Sein made a historic visit to the White House on May 19, the latest in a series of high-level symbolic exchanges between the two nations. While Thein Sein has been regularly commended by U.S. officials for his broad democratic reform program, President Barack Obama's praise this week overlooked a significant backtracking on promised media-related reforms.
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