Myanmar suspends news journals

2010-11-22 19:06
Yangon - Authorities in military-ruled Myanmar have suspended nine weekly news journals which gave prominent coverage to the release of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, a report said on Monday.

The First Eleven Sports Journal, whose sales were halted for two weeks, had a front-page football headline in which some letters were highlighted to read: "Su free unite & advance to grab the hope".

The Press Scrutiny and Registration Division informed the journal and eight others that they would be suspended for between one and two weeks for not obeying its rules, according to its sister publication Weekly Eleven News.

The authorities did not say exactly what they did wrong, but most weekly journals reported about the Nobel Peace Prize winner's release in their latest issue with her photo on the front page.

"Some news journals were suspended because of too much coverage of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's release with photos on the front page," said the editor of one of the suspended journals who did not want to be named.

Reporters Without Borders, which ranked Myanmar 174th out of 178 countries in its 2010 press freedom index, reported in September that the regime was increasing censorship in the run-up to the first election in 20 years.

The country has more than 150 privately-owned newspapers and magazines but they are all subject to pre-publication censorship by a press scrutiny board run by an army officer, according to the media watchdog.

Suu Kyi, who had been locked up for 15 of the past 21 years, was released on November 13, less than a week after the widely criticised election that was dismissed by many as a charade to prolong decades of military rule.

News of her release was reported by state media, including the New Light of Myanmar, a mouthpiece for the junta.

- SAPA
Read more on:    aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar  |  media
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