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Committee to Protect Journalists to Honor Burmese Filmmakers - 2004-10-15


Two Burmese filmmakers are among those who will be honored by the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, with International Press Freedom Awards in November.

The awards honor journalists who have endured years of harassment, death threats, or imprisonment to report the news.

Aung Pwint, and Thaung Tun, filmmakers and poets, have been imprisoned since early October of 1999. The CPJ says they were arrested separately for filming independent video documentaries that portrayed the reality of everyday life in Burma, including footage of forced labor and hardship in rural areas.

The two men were tried together and each was sentenced to eight years in prison. Aung Pwint was convicted of illegal possession of a fax machine and of sending news to banned Burmese newspapers.

Thaung Tun is reportedly suffering from a brain ailment as a result of his confinement.

The CPJ will also honor Svetlana Kalinkina of Belarus, Alesis Sinduhije of Burundi and will present an award posthumously to Paul Klebnikov of the United States, who was shot down in Moscow in July.

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