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Burma: Myanmar Junta Targets Press Freedom

Burma: Junta Targets Press Freedom

The junta's crackdown on Burma's independent media intensified last week with the arrest of two Rangoon-based journalists. Thet Zin and Sein Win Maung of the Myanmar Nation were arrested during a raid by police and Military Intelligence on the newspaper's offices. The two journalists were taken to the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, where they are currently being held without charge.

The military's censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, has since instructed the publisher to cease production of the weekly journal. Items confiscated from the newspaper included a copy of UN Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro's report on Burma.

Thet Zin, the editor of the Myanmar Nation, is a well known critic of the ruling generals. He was arrested in 1988 for participating in the student led pro-democracy protests at Rangoon University. During the 1990s he was periodically detained and interrogated by junta officials.

Despite the junta's best efforts to restrict a free press in Burma, a courageous new generation of citizen reporters and bloggers continues to challenge press censorship via the internet.


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