From conflict zones to courtrooms, Myanmar’s journalists are under fire (Demo)

The following is an excerpt of a 31 July 2019 CPJ blog post by Shawn W. Crispin/CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative.

Hopes for greater press freedom when Myanmar moved to quasi-democratic rule were quickly quashed with the jailing in 2017 of two Reuters reporters. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have their freedom again, but journalists and press freedom activists who met with CPJ’s Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin in Yangon in June said that their critical reporting, including from conflict zones, is often met with lawsuits, arrest warrants, and censorship.

When Myanmar soldiers shot and killed five people in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung Township on March 21, The Irrawaddy was on the scene to report. Witnesses claimed 200 soldiers surrounded the township’s Say Taung village and indiscriminately fired on homes. The victims, witnesses quoted in The Irrawaddy said, were found with bullet wounds to their heads and torsos.

Myanmar’s military took offense to The Irrawaddy’s reporting, with a spokesperson saying that the armed assault was aimed at Arakan Army insurgents, not civilians, and that media coverage, including by The Irrawaddy, had not been fair. In April, the military filed a criminal online defamation complaint against Ye Ni, The Irrawaddy’s Burmese-language editor, over the website’s coverage of the conflict. If convicted under the Telecommunication Law’s Section 66(d), the editor faces a possible two-year jail sentence.

Read the full blog post on CPJ’s site.

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Source: MEDIA FEED

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