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Burma

2011

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Stark regional differences are seen as jailings grow significantly in the Middle East and North Africa. Dozens of journalists are held without charge, many in secret prisons. A CPJ special report

Journalists reporting on protests and civil unrest face a rising threat of detention. Here, Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian journalist. (Reuters)


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.

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.

The Burmese comedian and blogger known as Zarganar arrives at the Yangon international airport Wednesday. (AP)

Bangkok, October 12, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, but reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of at least 13 other journalists on CPJ's imprisoned list.

Thein Sein’s new civilian government has promised reform, but authorities continue to censor and imprison journalists. Those who report for critical, exile-run media remain at great risk. A CPJ special report by Shawn W. Crispin

Burma is at a crossroads between a tradition of military control and prospects for a democratic future. (AP/Khin Maung Win)

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."

A conflicted European Union considers a new approach toward Burma. Press freedom advocates and human rights defenders are wary. By Jean-Paul Marthoz

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with reporters after a September meeting with the European Commissioner for International Cooperation. (AFP/Soe Than Win)

As international donors examine their priorities in light of Burma’s new regime, exile-run news media face potential cutbacks. The most critical news reporting on the long-closed nation may be endangered. By Aung Zaw


The author, founder of The Irrawaddy, says exile media face greater challenges even though the new Burmese government has yet to make good on its democratic promises. (CPJ/Shawn Crispin)
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. 

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.

2011

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Killed in Burma

3 journalists killed since 1992

Attacks on the Press 2012

0 Imprisoned in December 2012 after government releases 12 journalists in historic shift.

Country data, analysis »

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Asia

Program Coordinator:
Bob Dietz

bdietz@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 140, 115
Fax: 212-465-9568

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