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Burma 8 November 2008

Call for immediate release of two journalists arrested in Rangoon

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association condemn the arrests of journalists Khin Maung Aye and Htun Htun Thein of the privately-owned weekly News Watch on 5 November in Rangoon and call for their immediate release. They are being held in Insein prison., an exile news website based in Thailand, quoted journalists in Rangoon as saying they were probably arrested for a report on legal system corruption in July. A News Watch contributor said the newspaper was pressured by the authorities to identify the anonymous sources cited in the story.

Other sources suggested that the two journalists may have been arrested for being in touch with exiled dissidents or for publishing an article that had not been approved by the censorship bureau.

Before their arrest, the two journalists were given three-month prison sentences by a Rangoon court for contempt. According to Reporters Without Borders figures, these two journalists bring to 10 the number of journalist arrested since the start of the year.

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