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Media Groups Condemn Burmese Govt Treatment of Journalists


Two media rights groups are condemning efforts by the Burmese government to prevent journalists from reporting on rare anti-government protests.

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association are accusing the military-run government of using "heavy-handed repression, intimidation and censorship" on journalists over the past week. The groups say the military is trying to black out reports on public demonstrations against a steep increase in fuel prices.

The media watchdogs say Burmese police and pro-government militia have tried to stop photographers from taking pictures. They also say plainclothes security agents have threatened journalists with shovels and iron bars.

Hundreds of Burmese have taken to the streets of Rangoon and other cities over the past 10 days to protest fuel prices and citizens' generally poor living conditions.

The government says it has arrested about 50 people, but activists say more than 100 have been detained, including key pro-democracy leaders.

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