Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Burma 12 October 2007

Four Burmese journalists and two "comedian-columnists" in prison as police round-up goes on

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association today expressed their concern for the physical safety of 6 journalists, writers and comedian-columnists now imprisoned in Burma as police raids continued.

"The announcement today of the death under torture of a pro-democracy activist, makes us fear the worst for the 11 reporters, video-makers and comedian-columnists, some of whom have been secretly held for several weeks in Burma. The UN Security Council statement which deplored the crackdown is to be welcomed, but it did not go far enough. We regret that the Security Council did not call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners. " the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Several Burmese journalists confirmed that the security services are circulating photos of demonstrators taken by citizen journalists or foreign reporters in police stations and among police informers. Scores of people have reportedly been arrested on the basis of these photos.

Burmese Internet-users say that the Internet worked on 10 October, from midday to 4pm, but very slowly. The previous day, it worked from 2pm to 4pm then from 10pm to 1am, during a curfew which is still in force in Rangoon.

Journalists, video-makers and poets arrested during the demonstrations:

Maung Yan Paing, writer living in North Okkalapa,

Win Ko Ko Lat, reporter on the Weekly Eleven Journal,

Win Saing, photo-journalist,

Nay Linn Aung, reporter on 7-Days newspaper,

Contrary to what was reported earlier, Nay Linn Aung has still not been released.

Two actors who write columns on Burmese society and the junta, have been imprisoned:

Par Par Lay, A member of the Moustache Brothers troop in Mandalay, central Burma, has been secretly held since 25 September. He had previously been imprisoned from 1994-2001. Zarnagar, actor nicknamed the Burmese "Charlie Chaplin", was arrested in Rangoon after openly supporting the monks. He has already been imprisoned twice in 1988 and 1990. The magazine Irrawaddy quoted his wife as saying that his health is poor.

Several other journalists have disappeared, but they could have gone underground or tried to reach the Thai border.

Journalists detained before August 2007:

U Thaung Sein, freelance photo-reporter Ko Moe Htun, Dhamah-Yate Ne Min, independent Monywa Aung-Shin, Sar-maw-khung U Win Tin, Hanthawathi

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