Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Burma 2 July 2008

Poem prompts purge of Rangoon-based magazine

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association condemn a government purge of the staff of the privately-owned, Rangoon-based monthly Cherry over a poem it published last month.

Its editor, Htay Aung, was told to resign after being summoned for questioning on 24 June by the Censorship Board, an information ministry offshoot. His replacement and any other new staff appointments will have to be approved by the board.

The offending poem, which was originally approved by the Censorship Board, is about the town of Depayin. At one point it laments the fact that Depayin has produced thugs but it does not directly mention an attack by military government supporters on an opposition National League for Democracy motorcade in Depayin in May 2003 in which dozens of NLD activists were killed.

The poem’s author, Kyi Maung Than, has gone into hiding for fear of being arrested by the military government. His poems and articles were banned for several years after he took a pro-democracy position. Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association are concerned at the possibility that he could be found and detained.

Another poet, Saw Wai, was arrested on 22 January for writing a St. Valentine’s Day poem containing a coded criticism of the head of the military junta, Senior Gen. Than Shwe. He is still being held in Insein prison.




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

reports
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
archives

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