Journalists in Burma faced Orwellian-type scrutiny and were subjected to imprisonment and intimidation throughout 2008 while exiled Burmese media groups were also attacked—via their computers.

by Irrawaddy news
2008 should have been a year when Burma’s reporters reached a worldwide audience. The country was constantly in the global spotlight—hundreds of political activists from September 2007’s monk-led demonstrations were imprisoned, the Irrawaddy delta was devastated by a killer cyclone and a junta-sponsored constitutional referendum was pushed through.

Yet except for the state-run mouthpieces, Burma’s private newspapers, journals and magazines were muzzled while their reporters faced summary harassment by thugs employed by the Burmese authorities.

At least ten journalists in Burma were detained last year. Some received prison sentences of up to 19 years.

Fortunately, there were no reports of Burmese journalists killed. Nevertheless, international media watchdog Reporters without Borders included Burma in its overview of persecution of journalists in the same breath as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. continue

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