World Association of News Publishers

World’s Press Condemns Charges Targeting 17 Journalists in Myanmar

World’s Press Condemns Charges Targeting 17 Journalists in Myanmar

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Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany 26 June 2015
For immediate release

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have condemned charges of contempt of court that have been levied at 17 journalists from Eleven Media Group in Myanmar.

“We are extremely concerned by the Ministry of Information’s decision to press ahead with these charges as it appears to be just the latest attempt to intimidate the press during what is a crucial election year for Myanmar,” said a statement from WAN-IFRA.

The allegation of contempt of court was filed against 17 members of Eleven Media Group for news coverage of a separate trial involving five of its senior employees, who are facing charges of defamation following the publication of a report detailing possible corruption within the Ministry of Information.

The story alleged that in 2009, the Ministry had misused up to 700,000€ in public funds for the purchase of a printing press. The Ministry claims that Eleven Media Group's coverage of the trial has put undue pressure on the court.

“We encourage the authorities to continue to embrace the path to freedom and democracy, to permit the press to do its job free from harassment and other pressures that seek to influence the course of independent reporting in the country. We urge the government to reverse the trend of imprisoning and harassing journalists and to engage in public debate, rather than seek to control it,” the statement from WAN-IFRA said.

Dr Than Htut Aung, Chairman and CEO of Eleven Media Group, is the laureate of the 2013 WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom. Dr Aung and his editorial staff have campaigned enthusiastically, with candour and boldness, for transparency and government accountability against a repressive political atmosphere since the media group was founded 15 years ago.

Today, as a market leader in Myanmar, Eleven Media Group employs 140 reporters and has a staff of over 450, also operating SMS mobile services and an English-language website.


For more information on WAN-IFRA’s press freedom work, visit


WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Andrew Heslop, Director, Press Freedom, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 29. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Email:



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Andrew Heslop


2015-06-29 15:41

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...