News / Asia

Burmese Journalists Demand Release of Colleague

Burmese journalists hold banners as they protest for press freedom outside office of the Daily Eleven newspaper in Rangoon, Jan. 7, 2014.
Burmese journalists hold banners as they protest for press freedom outside office of the Daily Eleven newspaper in Rangoon, Jan. 7, 2014.
VOA News
Dozens of Burmese journalists have held a protest to demand the release of a colleague who was sentenced to three-months in prison.

The journalists and activists held signs saying "The Right to Information is the Life of Democracy" as they marched through downtown Rangoon on Tuesday.

They were protesting the conviction of Ma Khine, a journalist who was working on a story about corruption when she was arrested in the eastern state of Kayah.

Myint Kyaw, head of the Myanmar Journalist Network, said Ma Khine was targeted because of her work.

"Because she is a journalist, she was imprisoned. We believe that it is a direct threat to press freedom and right to information. That's why we protest against it," he said.

She was convicted last month of trespassing, using abusive language, and defamation, after interviewing a lawyer for the story. Her employer, the Eleven Media Group, and international rights groups suspect the charges are politically motivated.

Since direct military rule in Burma, also known as Myanmar, ended in 2011, a nominally civilian government has introduced a number of media reforms, including relaxing censorship and releasing imprisoned journalists.

But Thiha Saw, Vice-Chairperson of the Myanmar Journalist Association (MJA), told VOA's Burmese service that press freedom is still under threat in Burma.

"For example, sometime the police call upon a publication and warn them [on something they publish]. That kind of action is still the same as under an old system. Press Freedom is still far away."

The media rights group Reporters Without Borders says Burma still ranks 151st out of 179 nations in press freedom. The group has called for a review of Ma Khine's case.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.)

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid