Burma named as an 'Enemy of the Internet'

Mar 13, 2009 (DVB), Burma has been named, along with 11 other countries, in an 'Enemies of the Internet' report, released yesterday by international media watchdog Reporters without Borders.

The report names 12 countries – Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam , as being guilty of threatening press freedom through heavy internet censorship.

"The 12 'Enemies of the Internet', have all transformed their internet into an intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing 'undesirable' online information," Reporters Without Borders said.

"All these countries distinguish themselves not only by their ability to censor online news and information but also by their virtually systematic persecution of troublesome internet users."

In November last year the ruling military regime sentenced internet blogger Nay Phone Latt to 20 years imprisonment (later reduced to 12 years and six months) after he posted a cartoon of General Than Shwe on his website.

Nay Phone Latt's blogging during the September 2007 protests were a key factor in drawing international attention to the treatment of protesters by the military.

Reporting by Francis Wade

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