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.
Bangkok, September 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's vow to abolish the Printing Presses and Publishing Act, and urges his administration to follow through with additional press freedom-related reforms.
On Thursday, during an Independence Day national address, Najib vowed to dismantle two harsh security-related laws--the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance--and ease legal restrictions on civil liberties, including the right to assembly, international press reports said. He has also vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that newspapers do not have to reapply annually for permission to publish. The Home Ministry previously had sole discretion over whether to renew newspapers' operating licenses, and its often arbitrary decisions could not be legally appealed.
Dear Prime Minister Bhattarai: We are alarmed by recent reports regarding the planned amnesty of criminal cases pending from past political violence in Nepal and are writing to express our concern that people convicted of killing journalists could go free based on political decisions made by your government.
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.
Three Southeast Asian journalists--Cambodia's Hang Chakra, Malaysia's Zulkiflee Anwar Ul Haque, or Zunar, and Thailand's Chiranuch Premchaiporn--were among the 48 awardees of the Hellman/Hammett grant, given to writers targeted with political persecution, who were recognized today by Human Rights Watch for their commitment to press freedom.
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.
Khpalwak, 25, died in violence between insurgents and security forces when gunmen and suicide bombers targeted the governor's office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan.
New York, September 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the African Union to ensure the safety of civilians operating in Somalia after witnesses reported that AU forces fired on a Malaysian humanitarian convoy in Mogadishu on Friday, killing one journalist and injuring another. Calling the shootings "deeply regrettable," the African Union Mission in Somalia said in a statement that it has undertaken an investigation and would publicize its findings.
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