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re press censorship Burma

Burma Readers:
Three items on freedom of the press, condemned in Burma.
Headline: Freedom House Press Report : Burma with worst rating as Less 
than One-Fourth of World Population Has Free Press (Boston Globe,AP, 
Headline: Index on Censorship / Burma (Index, UVI.net)
Headline: Burma comedians sent to hard labour (ABSDF, The Nation)

Headline: Freedom House Press Report : Burma with worst rating as Less 
than One-Fourth of World Population Has Free Press
Keywords: Free press report, Freedom House, Adrian Karatnycky, Burma, 
Date: May 2 1996
Source: Associated Press,The Boston Globe (UVI.net, ed.)

NEW YORK (AP) - More than half the people on earth live in democratic
societies, but less than a fourth live in countries with a free press,
according to a survey released Thursday.``Freedom of the press is a 
cornerstone of any vibrant democracy,''
said Adrian Karatnycky, president of Freedom House, a New York-based 
group that monitors political rights and civil liberties.

Burma is among the twenty nations received that the worst rating for 
press freedom the survey of 187 countries, 117 of which are democracies. 
It found that in 58 nations, there is virtually no press
freedom and the government maintains a high level of control over the 
news media, including physical threats against journalists.

     ``As the right to vote is increasingly recognized the world over, it
     is critical that the right to seek, receive and impart information
     through any media is likewise affirmed,'' Karatnycky said.

     Along the blacklist with Burma are Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, 
China, Cuba, Egypt, Equatorial
     Guinea, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Nigeria, Serbia-Montenegro,
     Somalia, Sudan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and 

     Algeria was found to be the most dangerous country in the world for
     journalists. At least 26 editors and reporters were killed by
     religious extremists.

     Five of the countries without freedom of the press are formal
     democracies: Albania, Central African Republic, Georgia, Moldova and

     A partly free press exists in 65 countries, including 44 that have
     democratic systems of government. Among them: India, Argentina,
     Colombia, Haiti, Philippines and Russia.

     Sixty-four countries have a press free from all types of political
     interference, the survey determined.

     The survey said that the Internet holds a great deal of promise for
     improving the free flow of information on a global scale.

     ``The Internet may yet provide an insurmountable obstacle for 
     of every nationality,'' said Leonard Sussman, who coordinated the 

     But the report noted that in March, information ministers from a
     number of Southeast Asian nations, including Singapore, Malaysia and
     Indonesia, declared that access to the Internet by their citizens 
     be carefully monitored to avoid ``information contamination'' by
     America and Europe.

Headline: Index on Censorship / Burma
Keywords: Burma censorship, Aung San Suu Kyi, Myo Myint Nyein, Win Tin,U 
Pa Pa Lay
Date: March/April 1996
Source: Index on Censorship" (Vol. 25 #2, March/April 1996)
The publication "Index on Censorship" (Vol. 25 #2, March/April 1996)

The U.K.-based publication Index on Censorship, indexoncenso@xxxxxxxxxx, 
http://www.oneworld.org/index_oc/ recently focused on Burma in a report 
citin the arrest last December of U Sein Hla Aung "for deistributing 
videos of Aung San Suu Kyi's 'People's Forum', the informal gatherings 
which have taken polace outside her home since her release from h ouse 
arrest in July 1995.(HRW)
Thirteen performance artists were detained in Mandalay between 7 and 10
 January. Of the 13 nine are memebers of the A Nyein song and dance 
troube, and two are comedians who had participataed in a private 
Independence Day celebration at the home of Aung San Suu Kyi on 4 
January. The leader of the troupe, U Pa Pa Lay, was previously ararested 
in 1991, and served a two-year prison sentence for his satire of the 
military government. (HRW)
Imprisoned journalists Myo Myint Nyein, editor-in-chief of the cultural 
magazine "What's Happening" and Win Tin, former editor of the newspaper 
"Hanthawati", have reportedly been serrverly ill-treated in prison. 
Conditions include being forced to sleep in solitary confinement on 
concrete floors without mats or blankets, in cells where military dogs 
are usually kept. Khin Zaw Win , sentenced to 15 years in 1994 (Index 
4/1994, 6:1994), has been reported to be suffering similiar treatment. 

Headline: Burma comedians sent to hard labour
Keywords: Byrma, Aung San Suu Kyi,comdians,Par Par Lay,Lu Zaw,U Saw 
Hlaing,Kyienn Karan Ka labour camp,
Date:May 1 1996
Source: ABSDF, The Nation
> TWO prominent Burmese comedians who were each sentenced to seven
> year's imprisonment after performing at the residence of Burma's
> Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been transferred to a
> hard labour camp in Kachin State.
> Meanwhile, U Saw Hlaing, a member of Suu Kyi's National League
> for Democracy (NLD) who was sentenced to a five year jail term
> after a minor car accident on March 15 near Taungoo, was also
> sent to the Kyienn Karan Ka labour camp located about 16
> kilometres form Myitkyina, Kachin's capital.
> Saw Hlaing and the two comedians- Par Par Lay, 49, and Lu Zaw, 45
> are enduring hard physical labour and have lost a considerable
> amount of weight in the past month, prisoners released from the
> camp were quoted as saying.
> Those who know Par Par Lay said he is hardly recognisable as the
> man who entered the camp just over a month ago.
> The three prisoners, whose arrests and sentences are considered
> politically motivated, are shackled with a special iron bar
> across the legs to restrict their mobility, according to the
> released prisoners.
> Par Par Lay and Lu Zaw were among 13 artists arrested on Jan 7
> and 10 after their Jan 4 performance at Suu Kyi's house in
> Rangoon. Nine were released after a few weeks but the rest were
> tried and sentenced to long-term imprisonment in March.
> The two comedians, strong supporters of the NLD, spent eight days
> in the Mandalay jail before being quietly transferred to the
> camp.Western and Burmese observers believed the Burmese junta arrested
> and sentenced NLD members and supporters to impose psychological
> pressure on Suu Kyi, seeking to isolate her by attacking those
> who are around her or associate themselves with her.
> The observers also noted the junta's denial of a visa to Suu
> Kyi's husband, who applied for a visitors visa during the Easter
> holiday in early April. They also drew attention to the continued
> detention of her godfather, James Leander Nichols. Nichols, an
> Anglo-Burmese who is being held  without charges, is reportedly
> ailing.
> The ruling Burmese State Law and Order Restoration Council has
> chosen to ignore Suu Kyi's calls for a political dialogue to
> resolve the country's political turmoil, saying such talks would
> only put her "on the same footing" as the government.