Statement from Diplomatic Missions to Myanmar on World Press Freedom Day
On World Press Freedom Day, we pay tribute to the essential role of journalism in upholding online and offline freedom of expression. Media freedom is a cornerstone of democratic societies and a source of legitimacy that should be unconditionally preserved and guaranteed. Journalists must be free to report without fear of reprisal or intimidation.
While journalists and media workers have become a target of repression in Myanmar, we commend the efforts of those striving to ensure access to accurate information. Since the 1 February military coup, more than 80 journalists have been arrested, more than half of them still being detained.
Media companies have been banned from broadcasting or providing information, had their licenses revoked and their offices raided. Most media outlets have been forced to shut down. Today, no major independent printed media is operating in Myanmar and internet shutdowns continue to be used to control news coverage, communications and access to information. These actions suppress media freedom and violate the right to freedom of opinion and expression outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We call for the immediate release of all media workers, the establishment of the freedom of information and communication and for the end of all internet restrictions in Myanmar.
We will continue to promote and support a free and independent media as an integral dimension of good governance and human development. Press freedom is a right, not just of media professionals, but of each and every one of us.
The diplomatic missions of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.