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The following is a 25 October 2007 joint letter from 15 IFEX
members and several other international organisations to United Nations

Ibrahim Gambari
Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar
United Nations
New York, NY USA
Fax: +1212 963 0942
Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human
Rights in Myanmar
United Nations
Geneva, Switzerland
Fax: +41 229179006

25 October 2007

Dear Mr. Ibrahim Gambari and Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro,

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange Network (IFEX) is a global
network of media freedom advocates from around the world. Many of IFEX's 81
members have been among those in the global community in condemning the
recent violent events in Burma, and in monitoring the worsening human
rights situation in the country.

At the IFEX General Meeting in Montevideo on 7 to 12 October, 20 IFEX
members and partners formed a special Burma Action Group (BAG) to respond
to the unfolding humanitarian crisis. As a network focused on press
freedom, freedom of expression, and access to information, the Burma Action
Group is particularly concerned over the death of journalists in the recent
crackdown, the arrest and continued detention of members of the Burmese
media, the reported suspension of private journals and newspapers in
Yangon, and the Burmese government's cutting of access to the Internet. We
are also troubled by the apparent murder of Japanese freelance journalist
Kenji Nagai at the hands of Burmese soldiers.

On behalf of members of the Burma Action Group, I am writing to you
therefore, to express and implore that a concern for the conditions and
environment of Burmese journalists both inside and outside the country be
high and explicit on the agenda of any mission to Burma that you may take
part in or have influence over.

Furthermore, we believe that it would be most important to urge the Burmese
government to carry out a thorough investigation into the killing of
Japanese APF photographer Kenji Nagai, who died on 27 September on the
streets of Rangoon allegedly at the hand of Burmese troups. Impunity is a
threat to the rule of law and, as such, a violation of Article 7 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said it was important
for the UN to establish the true scale of Burma's bloody crackdown. A scan
of the current media environment, we submit, should be part of any report
for this purpose of truly understanding what went on in Burma over the past

It is crucial to generate a status report on the missing, killed and jailed
journalists, Burma's notorious censorship regime, how many journals are
still operating, how many were shut down, and so on. A status report on
people's access to the Internet, too, would be vital.

Should you have any questions, clarifications, suggestions, or concerns
regarding this letter, please feel free to contact me as the designated
chairperson for the Burma Action Group.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.


Executive Director

Burma Action Group members:

Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies, Nepal
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Philippines
Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia
Citizen Lab, Canada
Freedom House, USA
Index on Censorship, UK
International Federation of Journalists
International Media Support, Denmark
International Press Institute, Austria
Mizzima News, India
Norwegian PEN, Norway
Pakistan Press Foundation, Pakistan
Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand
Union of Journalists, Solidarity Foundation Vikes, Finland
World Association of Newspapers, France
World Press Freedom Committee, USA

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