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Weekly newspaper suspended for reporting on murders; another warned

(Mizzima/IFEX) - The Burmese Press Scrutiny and Registration Board has suspended the "7 Days News" journal for a week for reporting on a multiple-murder case in its 13 March 2008 issue.

The report quoted police and covered the funeral of a family of four and their domestic helper who were shot dead in broad daylight near the home of imprisoned leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon on 3 March, said an editor speaking on condition of anonymity. The issue also carried photographs of the coffins.

"As far as we know, the censorship board didn't allow the headline and the photograph, and ordered the editors to remove them. But we heard that the journal reported on them (anyway) as supplementary news," said the editor.

The editor also revealed that editors of another weekly, "The Voice", were similarly summoned to the censorship board's office and ordered to sign a pledge for publishing the news. Unlike the fate befalling "7 Days New", the weekly was not banned.

"The editors of 'The Voice' journal were summoned and interrogated about the photograph and ordered to sign the bond. The photograph of security personnel and police forces deployed at the crime scene appeared with their news report. They had to just sign a pledge. That's all. But we learned that no action was taken against other weekly journals, like 'Weekly Eleven' and 'Flowers News Journal'. They, too, reported the multiple murders as the story appeared in the state-run media," the editor added.

Entrepreneur Charlie (a.k.a. Saw Kyipha), his wife San San Myint, their two daughters, Mya Sanda and Hnin Pwint Aye, and their domestic worker, Alphaw, were shot in the head in their home in Green Bank, Kamayut Township on 3 March.

No one has been arrested for the murders. A police source said that an amount of cash totaling at least US$90,000 is missing from the house.

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