Arab Today, arab today media watchdog calls on myanmar to ensure press freedom
Last Updated : GMT 18:22:38
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Media watchdog calls on Myanmar to ensure press freedom

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Media watchdog calls on Myanmar to ensure press freedom

Myanmar - DW

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a new report that says media workers in Myanmar operate within a climate of fear, despite the nominally civilian government.In a new report released on Tuesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says that media workers in Myanmar (also known as Burma) are still under surveillance by the civilian authorities, which monitor their movements, tap their phones and censor private media.The New York-based international media watchdog has also found that the authorities has suspended over a dozen news publications since last year\'s November elections, which led to a civilian government coming to power, and that at least two media workers have been sentenced to long jail terms.The CPJ said that the country should put a stop to its \"draconian\" reporting laws and free jailed journalists, if it wanted to give credibility to its promises of political reform. The new regime has done little to ease restrictions and the press operates within a climate of fear, according to the report.The CPJ calls for a United Nations-led commission of inquiry into war crimes in Myanmar, which would also look into the jailing and torture of journalists.\"The government\'s promise of reform is welcome, yet censorship in Burma remains arbitrary, intensive and highly restrictive,\" said Shawn Crispin, CPJ senior Southeast Asia representative, saying that there should be legal reform to ensure press freedom.Censors often reject media stories and a number of topics are banned, the report says. Moreover, undercover reporters working for foreign or exiled media outlets are targeted by internet surveillance and harsh communications laws.Crispin said that \"uncensored reporting\" from within Myanmar was a crucial source of information for assessing whether the government\'s promise of democratic reform is rhetoric or reality.The authorities have made some overtures to the opposition in recent week and raised hopes that they might be serious about political reform. At the weekend, pro-democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi told AFP that there were finally some signs of political change but that people were far from being free. She said, however, that she remained a \"cautious optimist.\"

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