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Burma: Citizen journalists' photos tell Burma story

Burma: Citizen journalists' photos tell Burma story

Photos taken by citizen journalists, which chronicle the story of the Burmese monk-led protests in Burma, are on exhibit at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand until the end of March to inform people about the protests and to honor those who have died.

Burma has many strict regulations to ensure control over media, but citizen journalists have taken up the task in capturing the Burma story when professional journalists, such as 50-year-old Japanese photographer Kenji Nagai, have been killed.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), there are currently 1,860 political prisoners in Burma as of March 28, 2008, though the government denies this statistic.

There are two parts to the exhibition: 'Burma 2007 - Uprising, Crackdown, and Now', co-organized by the Burma Information Network (BIN) and Human Rights Watch, and 'Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now!' sponsored by the AAPP and the Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB). The former will be touring in Japan while the latter will move to Malaysia in mid-April.

Yuki Akimoto, director of BIN, hopes that the exhibit will examine and pay tribute to ''the Burmese people's bravery and willingness to confront Burma's military regime armed only with their commitment to non-violence and fierce desire for freedom and democracy''.

AAPP director Bo Kyi said, ''I want the people to know about what's happening in prisons in Burma, that tortures are being carried out in these prisons. I feel that the Thai people, who are largely of Buddhist faith, should know that Buddhist monks are being tortured as well.''

The situation does not appear to be coming to an end soon, with a referendum on the ruling junta's draft constitution set at an unconfirmed date in May. The details of it have not yet been disclosed to the public.

Akimoto said that ''the military regime must begin to include the pro-democracy opposition in the process of genuine political reform''.

"The Burmese people will have to continue their demonstrations, and therefore we need people from the other countries to continue putting pressure on the Burmese junta regime," Byo Ki added.

Source: Asia Media Forum



Carolyn Lo


2008-04-11 12:29

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