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BURMESE NEWS AGENCY REOPENS

Thanks largely to pressure from international press freedom organisations and Burma support groups, the Burmese news agency shut down by Indian authorities last week was allowed to reopen just two days later.

Mizzima News Agency, a leading source of independent news on Burma run by exiled Burmese journalists, credits the reopening to the solidarity shown by support and media advocacy groups, including members of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), such as the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Committee to Protect Journalists and International Press Institute, as well as Burma News International and Burma Media Association. Many of the groups had written to the Indian Home Minister to demand the reopening.

Mizzima had originally been shut down by Indian authorities on the grounds that it was a commercial venture operating in a residential area. The Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) recognised later that its activities were exclusively journalistic.

Around 50 of the agency's employees were demonstrating peacefully outside the MCD office when the decision to reopen the office was made known (see photo).

Read about members' actions around the closure and subsequent reopening on Mizzima's website: http://tinyurl.com/22muf5

(Photo courtesy of Mizzima News)

(24 April 2007)

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