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Junta cuts telephone lines of various foreign correspondents

(Mizzima/IFEX) - The following is a statement from Mizzima News, an interim member of IFEX:

Foreign correspondents' phones under censorship blade

Foreign correspondents in Burma are the latest victims of the ruling junta's efforts to create a news blackout. Since the night of 11 September 2007, the telephone lines of some foreign correspondents have been cut off.

The motive behind the junta's latest decision to stem the flow of information is unclear. Correspondents in Rangoon suspect the junta's actions were not driven especially by the aim of cutting off foreign media, but rather were likely made in attempt to temporarily filter the contacts of political activists. Nonetheless, the effect of the action has been to stem one of the main communication lines of these correspondents.

Sources told Mizzima that an emergency meeting of foreign correspondents may be held on 12 September on the issue of their disconnected telephone lines.

As the largest public protests in a decade continue throughout the notoriously censored country, measures taken to terminate the flow of information have increased, including the banning of websites and blogs, in addition to the disconnecting of telephone lines belonging to politicians and activists.

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