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Media Group Calls for Release of Burmese University Students


Two media rights organizations have voiced outrage at Burmese authorities for arresting seven university students for writing and publishing a pro-democracy poem.

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association issued a statement Wednesday calling for immediate release of the students, who attend the University of Pegu north of Rangoon.

The two organizations say the students were arrested in late March after publishing a poem that referred to the fighting peacock, a symbol of Burma's pro-democracy movement.

Tuesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the arrest and prison sentences given to two other Burmese journalists for filming in the new capital, Pyinmana.

The group called the three-year prison sentences imposed on the men - Ko Thar Cho and Ko Kyaw Thwin - a travesty of justice. It said Burma's military government uses the law to crush any attempt at journalism.

The journalists were arrested in late March after filming and taking photos of the new capital.

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