Timor-Leste. Press Council condemns misrepresentation of press freedom in Myanmar
The Conselho de Imprensa (Press Council) of Timor-Leste (CITL) expressed deep concern over the misrepresentation of the press freedom situation in Myanmar at the recent Dili Dialogue Forum by a representative of Myanmar Press Council, after consultation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The IFJ welcomes this action by the CITL and condemns the continued distortion and repression of freedom of expression and press freedom by the junta in Myanmar.
The Dili Dialogue Forum 2022the CITLThe annual international conference, held from August 25-26 for the first time since 2019, brought together representatives of press councils from Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as media professionals and experts. from the region, including IFJ Asia-Pacific adviser Jim Nolan.
During the event, the IJF raised concerns in the presence of U Aye Chan, a representative of the Myanmar Press Council, whose presentation presented a favorable image of press freedom in Myanmar, contrary to the image portrayed by international press freedom bodies press and human rights.
Chan did not disclose that in early 2021, half of Myanmar’s Press Council members resigned, saying they were unable to carry out their duties of protecting freedom of speech. press, upholding media ethics or protecting the safety of their fellow journalists under the oppressive Tatmadaw regime. . The 15 resignations from the Press Council were in response to censorship demands issued by the Myanmar military and genuine concerns about the safety of journalists following legal and physical threats.
In a statement, the CITL acknowledged its respect for the free speech rights of all speakers at the forum, but said Chan’s presentation was “totally misleading and more reflective of the political stance of the military junta, Tatmadaw , than the actual press freedom situation in Burma.”
The CITL also rejected the account of the Dili conference given by Chan in an article published by the Myanmar News Agency on August 29, which declared that attendees of the event “expressed their astonishment at the presentation at the forum over the fake news from Myanmar mentioned in the international media”.
IFJ representative Jim Nolan said: “Chan’s presentation was a series of outright lies intended to promote the Tatmadaw dictatorship and deny the widespread acknowledgment of media repression in Myanmar.
Since the military coup in Myanmar, many journalists and media workers have been pushed to exile, and others have been victims of physical attacks, harassment, imprisonment and torture. The country’s independent media have been shut down, with the junta forcibly closing media offices and revoking broadcast licenses.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ welcomes the actions taken by the Timor-Leste Press Council and the exclusion of Tatmadaw-appointed Myanmar Press Council representatives from future regional events. The allegations regarding the state of press freedom in Myanmar are deeply concerning, and the Myanmar Press Council must be condemned for abdicating its role as a supporter and defender of a free press.