Rohingya Vision

IPI World Congress in Burma Drops Human Trafficking, Rohingya Issue

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IPI World Congress in Burma Drops Human Trafficking, Rohingya Issue
March 09
02:28 2015

PHUKET: The International Press Institute has quietly dropped human trafficking from the agenda at its World Congress in Burma (Myanmar) later this month, leaving the banned word ”Rohingya” likely to remain unspoken by journalists in Yangon representing 120 countries.

News of the change of heart by the highly-regarded Vienna-based organisation came a few days ago in an email to Phuketwan rescinding an invitation to reporter Chutima Sidasathian to speak.

Khun Chutima has been covering the genocide of the Rohingya and their exodus through Thailand for several years.

She and her Australian colleague Alan Morison are being sued for criminal defamation and a Computer Crimes Act count by the Royal Thai Navy over republication of a 41-word paragraph that was written by two Reuters journalists as part of a series on the Rohingya. The series later won a Pulitzer Prize.

”The IPI takes a strong stand against criminal defamation,” Morison said today.

”We were looking forward to having Khun Chutima tell other journalists about the case and the treatment of the Rohingya – the group described by the UN as the most persecuted people in the world.

”Lack of sponsorship was cited as the reason for the cancellation, but it’s difficult to believe that Burmese authorities would have allowed the IPI to discuss the issue.

”The word ‘Rohingya’ cannot be spoken openly in the country. President Obama showed courage to use it there last year.”

Morison’s passport is being held by the court pending resumption of the trial on Phuket in July. He applied to travel to the IPI congress and had his passport returned hours before Khun Chutima’s invitation was cancelled.

”We have no wish to embarrass the IPI because of all its good work,” Morison said. ”However, the fact is the congress is being held in Burma, where discussion of the Rohingya is forbidden.”

Morison and Khun Chutima face up to seven years in jail but continue to report on the Rohingya exodus through Thailand.

Note:Changes have been made,PHUKET is not responsible for these.




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