Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Burma 15 September 2004

Military censors shut down fortnightly

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) and the Burma Media Association today called on the military junta’s bureau of censorship to reverse its 1 September decision to ban the privately-owned fortnightly Khit-Sann, which covered current affairs and which was recently told that the junta considered it to be too "pro-American."

"At the rate publications are being closed and pressure is being put on journalists, the Burmese press will soon be limited to official propaganda outlets and a few privately-owned entertainment magazines," the two organisations protested.

Khit-Sann had been published in Rangoon since August 2003. When told on 1 September that it was banned until further notice, it was given no explanation by Maj. Aye Htun, the head of the censorship bureau that is an offshoot of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).

But editor Kyaw Win was told by censors in August that the magazine was viewed as too pro-American. In June, he had complained to the authorities about the use of his byline in propaganda articles published by an official newspaper. When the government did not respond, he tried to publish an article about it in Khit-Sann, but the censorship bureau banned it.

Khit-Sann was one of the very few publications to try to cover current affairs, as well as social, economic and philosophical issues. With a print run of 3,000, it was popular with young people and intellectuals.

Another privately-owned publication, Khit-Thit, recently received warnings from the censorship bureau. The cover of an issue looking at the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the allied landing in Normandy was banned because its photo of US combat troops was deemed to be "too aggressive."

The junta has meanwhile been harassing two well-known writers closed to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), Ludu Sein Win and Dagon Tayar, since they gave interviews to the Burmese language services of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. The government press has openly criticised them and Ludu Sein Win’s telephone has been cut for two weeks.

In this country
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed
28 May - Burma
Junta allows only one-sided coverage of Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial
15 May - Burma
Growing restrictions on free flow of information
15 May - Burma
Sakharov Network calls for immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Sakharov Prize laureate 1990
29 January - Burma
Petition launched for release of two Burmese bloggers serving sentences of 20 and 59 years in prison

in the annual report
Burma - Annual report 2008
Burma - Annual report 2007
Burma - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised