Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Myanmar ranks among countries with least amount of press freedom globally

Myanmar ranks again at the bottom of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index. In its 2024 edition, released to mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, Myanmar was ranked 171 out of 180.

This may seem like an improvement on Myanmar’s ranking of 173 last year, but its total press freedom score has declined from 28.26 to 24.41 since then.

“When we compare these distressing statistics with global data, it becomes evident that the plight of Myanmar journalists is among the most dire,” said Kyaw Kyaw Min, the president of the Independent Myanmar Journalists Association (IMJA).

Myanmar is listed among countries with the least amount of media freedom globally and the biggest jailers of journalists such as China, Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Syria and Eritrea.

RSF claimed that press freedom has declined worldwide over the last year. 

The National Unity Government (NUG) said that press freedom is protected under its Federal Democracy Charter, an interim constitution that was drafted by various groups resisting military rule in Myanmar. 

The NUG added that it would take action to protect journalists if it were to succeed in returning Myanmar on its path toward democracy. 

The E.U., the U.S., and the U.K. all released statements on Friday calling for independent media in Myanmar to be legally protected. Both the E.U. and U.K. vowed to continue supporting independent media to report on the country.

“On International Press Freedom Day we call for the release of all journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for carrying out their work, and [we] honour the journalists [who] have lost their lives since February 2021,” stated the E.U. Mission in Myanmar .

At least five journalists have been killed in Myanmar since the 2021 military coup. Fifty-four journalists remain in prison. Myat Thu Tan, who had once worked for DVB, was killed in Myanmar earlier this year. At least 15 media outlets, including DVB, have had their publication licenses revoked by the regime in Naypyidaw in the last three years.

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