MYANMAR: Press Freedom Restored after 50 Years

This decision to end censorship of media is a further signal of the path of democratic reforms promoted by the Naypyidaw executive led by President Thein Sein.


A note published last Monday on the Ministry of Information website states that “censorship of all publications of a national character is lifted as of 20 August 2012.” It is a landmark decision, since the prior examination of newspapers and magazines had been in force since 1962, the year the first military dictatorship came to power after a coup by General Ne Win.

After 50 years of harsh restrictions on journalists and the media, newspapers and broadcasts of political or religious nature will now no longer be subject to prior examination.  The Information Ministry announced the decision after weeks of rumors and promised real and effective freedom of the press.

Until last year, even songs, stories and other art forms with political or social implications were censored.   The publications of a religious or political nature were the last to receive permission to publish uncensored, as of Monday.

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