April 21, 2024

Press Freedom

Myanmar, {Burma}

Myanmar March 8, 2006

H.E. Than Shwe
Chairman of the State Peace
and Development Council
Office of the Chairman
Signal Pagoda Road
Union of Myanmar

Your Excellency:

We are informed that a journalist of repute in your country, Maung Maung Kyaw Win, has been forced to flee Myanmar after threats “to make his wife a widow.” According to well grounded reports, Kyaw Win, senior reporter and editor of the Burmese language journal, Myanmar Dana, was apprehended by military intelligence officials in December 2, 2005 while sitting in a restaurant.

The journalist said he was questioned about the help he gave to a U.S. journalist in arranging a meeting with a political dissident who was recently released from prison. Two armed, plainclothes security agents told Kyaw Win they had been monitoring his movements and threatened his life if he did not stop his activities. He was told to remain in Rangoon for further questioning. He left Myanmar later in December…fearing for his life.

The Overseas Press Club of America, which has defended journalists around the world for over 65 years, has often protested your government’s record of imprisonment, harassment and threats against journalists. Since Kyaw Win was harassed by your agents, it has been reported that your censorship board issued in January of this year even more stringent regulations restricting interactions between journalists and foreign nationals.

Your Excellency, freedom of expression is a basic right, guaranteed by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Myanmar ‘s consistent flouting of this principle is troubling and indeed unacceptable to the free world. We urge you to end these practices, which mark your government as repressive and as an outlaw in the global community.

Respectfully yours,
Jacqueline Albert-Simon
Larry Martz
Freedom of the Press Committee



General Khin Nyunt

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister


Union of Myanmar



Ambassador U Kyaw Tint Swe

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar

to the United Nations

10 East 77th Street

New York , NY 10021



U Myinb Lwin

Charge d’Affaires

Embassy of the Union of Myanmar

1800 S Street, NW

Washington , DC 20008



Ms. Shari Villaroae

Charge d’Affaires

Embassy of the United States of America