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More signs of Burma's toughening stance on media

In this 7 November 2014 file photo from jouranlist Par Gyi's funeral ceremony in Yangon, supporters hold a sign that calls for an investigation into his death
In this 7 November 2014 file photo from jouranlist Par Gyi's funeral ceremony in Yangon, supporters hold a sign that calls for an investigation into his death

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Excerpt of a 26 June 2015 CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Research Associate

Myanmar's parliament yesterday [25 June] voted against several constitutional amendments that keep the military's veto power intact, dealing a blow to hopes for fuller democracy, according to the BBC. And outside the legislature authorities are accelerating the pace at which they undoing democratic reforms.

The media suffered two setbacks this week in what some journalists fear is an attempt to intimidate them ahead of elections later this year. First, the civilian inquest into the 2014 killing of a journalist ended without holding anyone to account. Second, the government began defamation proceedings against more than a dozen staff at a newspaper.

A civil court inquiry into the death of freelance journalist Aung Kyaw Naing ended on Tuesday, yielding no results eight months after he was shot and killed while in military custody, according to news reports.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
What other IFEX members are saying
  • Myanmar charges 17 journalists

    "The Ministry of Information's decision to file contempt of court charges against 17 journalists is extremely troubling and paints a worrying picture for press freedom in Myanmar as the country heads toward elections later this year," said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president. "This action is indicative of a broader trend to harass and imprison journalists, which has resulted in the imprisonment of 10 journalists in the past 12 months."

  • 17 journalists charged with contempt in Myanmar

    Earlier this week, 17 journalists from Eleven Media Group were charged with contempt for its news coverage of the trial of five senior members of the same media organization. The Ministry of Information filed the charges against the journalists arguing that the newspaper was unfairly insisting on the innocence of its staff in the case and putting undue pressure of the court.

  • End to inquest in Myanmar journalist's death raises concerns

    [The journalist's wife] Ma Thandar has said she plans to appeal the court's decision with the help of her lawyer, Robert San Aung. But Soe Myint told IPI he believes the outcome of the case is unlikely to be in Ma Thandar's favour. "I don't expect that she and her family will get the fair judgment from any court," he said. "But it is brave enough for her and her family to continue to fight."

  • Myanmar: Government’s handling of Par Gyi criticised at UN HRC

    "The investigation into the killing of Par Gyi has been disappointing. 4 October marks the one-year anniversary of his killing and we are no closer to learning what happened to him while under custody. No defendants have been brought forward," said Thomas Hughes, ARTICLE 19's Executive Director.

  • End to inquest in Myanmar journalist's death raises concerns


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