Country Description: Burma/Myanmar – Dan

Burma

map-burmaBurma has a history with denying individuals simple human rights. One such right is that of freedom of expression. During its military rule Burma faced some of the worst forms of censorship. Like most censored nations Burma utilized a form of pre-publication censorship. During the military juntas rule all publications had to pass through the PSRD Press Scrutiny Registration Division. The PSRD enforced their control by editing and removing all controversial topics that discussed or portrayed an undesirable image of the military regime, economic state of Burma, or the moral/social acceptability within Burma. During this period of military rule many political activists for democracy and freedom of speech such as Aung Sun Suu Kyi, Saw Wai, and U Myat Swe suffered harsh prison sentences. After 2011 General Thein Sein brought about a civilian rule, since then Burma has made advances towards Democracy such as; the abolition of the PSRD on Aug 20th 2012. The PSRD no longer edits and removes controversial topics and now recommends guidelines covering the social, political, and economical topics that should not be published. Those who choose to express themselves today have to do so cautiously. Journalists, media groups, and artists now self-censor themselves out of fear of punishment and prison sentences.

-Dan

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