Where free speech is threatened
By Rupert Abbott, Research Director for South East Asia at Amnesty International. @RupertBAbbott
In April this year, people in Myanmar picked up their newspapers and saw ... nothing.
Front pages across the Southeast Asian nation were completely black, in a show of solidarity for a journalist that was simply doing his job. This week, as world leaders gather to meet their regional counterparts in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw for two major summits, attendees should make a similarly firm statement about freedom of the press.
The darkened front pages -- a remarkable move in a country where just a few years before, the military government imposed blanket controls on all media -- were in response to the case of Zaw Pe, a journalist with the independent Democratic Voice of Burma who had been sentenced to one year in jail. His "crime" was to investigate corruption in his home town, a story the authorities apparently did not want to see the light of day.
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