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Burma Censorship Chief Calls for Press Freedom


A man at a market in Rangoon, shows a People's Age private journal featuring an article written by Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, September 6, 2011.

A man at a market in Rangoon, shows a People's Age private journal featuring an article written by Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, September 6, 2011.

The chief of Burma's state censorship body has called for press freedom in the repressive nation, even suggesting his own department should be shut down.

Tint Swe, director of the Press Scrutiny and Registration Department, told Radio Free Asia Friday that censorship should be abolished as part of the reforms by the new army-dominated civilian government.

He said it is just a matter of time before all publications are free from any kind of censorship and for the first time, private groups would be allowed to establish daily newspapers under a new media law, a draft of which is before parliament.

Last month, Burmese authorities lifted a longstanding ban on international news websites, exiled Burmese news websites and YouTube.

However, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says state censors are still actively killing news stories and there is pervasive state surveillance of reporters, with at least 14 journalists and media support workers behind bars.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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