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Media Freedom Coalition statement on media freedom and safety of journalists in Myanmar 

February 4, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada 

The undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition express their deep concern with the military regime’s harassment and violent attacks against the people of Myanmar, including journalists and media workers. 

Since the military coup on February 1, 2021, the Myanmar regime’s security forces continue to undermine media freedom and violate and abuse the human rights of journalists in the country. Regime authorities have revoked the operating licenses of independent news outlets, banned the use of satellite dishes and instituted a series of partial and complete Internet shutdowns, including blocking social media sites. Authorities have also arbitrarily detained over 100 journalists, with dozens still in detention. There have been multiple reports of torture and abuse. At least three journalists have been killed, including an individual who died in detention and another person who is reported to have been summarily executed by the military after being used as a human shield. 

We underline once again our condemnation of the targeting, threatening, detention, torturing and killing of journalists and media workers. We call on the Myanmar military regime to immediately cease violence, release all those unjustly detained, allow unhindered humanitarian access and end its obstruction of the right of people in Myanmar to freedom of expression, both online and offline, which includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information. 

Media freedom is vital to the effective functioning of free and open societies and is essential to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Journalists need a safe environment in which to do their work. 

Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Maldives, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States.

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