Beware 'paradise dictatorships'

2004-05-03 21:43
Paris - The press watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Monday slammed what it called "paradise dictatorships" and asked tourists who go there to be "responsible and enlightened".

"Freedom of the press simply does not exist" in such "dream destinations" as Myanmar (Burma), the Maldives, Seychelles, Tunisia and Vietnam, RSF said in a statement issued on the 14th International Day of the Press.

"The landscape behind the tourist cliches is completely different," the statement said, and urged "all those who wish to travel to one of the 'paradise dictatorships' to practise responsible and enlightened tourism (and) not forget that these countries mock the most basic rights of journalists".

At a press conference in Paris, RSF head Robert Menard also cautioned the 120 000 French nationals who visit Cuba every year.

"Cuba is not a country like any other," Menard said. "It is the biggest prison in the world." - Sapa-dpa

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