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Burmese Military Junta Maintains Tight Hold on Media - 2004-05-02


A journalists' rights group says the military government in Burma continues to use repression and censorship to maintain a tight hold on news media in the country.

In a new report, Reporters Without Borders criticizes the government for raiding the offices of a sports weekly (First Eleven) that reported on corruption in local football (soccer) last July.

The Paris-based group says the publication's editor-in-chief (Zaw Thet Htwe) was sentenced to death in November, after being arrested and beaten by military officers.

The report says 14 other journalists have been jailed by authorities.

Reporters Without Borders also criticized the Burmese government for an attack on an opposition rally last May that killed dozens of people, including a photojournalist.

The group says officials imposed a news blackout on national and foreign press after the attack a year ago on the motorcade of Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the National League of Democracy.

The report says press freedom is also under threat in Cuba, Maldives, Seychelles, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Information for this report is provided by AFP/

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