Anniken Huitfeldt, chair of Norway’s Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defence, stressed the importance of press freedom in Myanmar’s transition towards democracy during her recent visit to the Southeast Asian country.
When asked about her general impressions of Burma in 2014, Huitfeldt highlighted the release of political prisoners, more freedom of movement and greater freedom of the press as indicative of a changing country.
“There is a strong pressure for further reforms,” Huitfeldt added. “And my view on this visit is to express that these changes must continue in order to develop a democracy.”
DVB asked Huitfeldt if she was aware of backslides on press freedom in 2014, particularly the recent sentencing of five journalists from Unity Weekly to ten years in prison with hard labour.
“We had a meeting about the press situation in Myanmar before we came down [to Burma], so we are aware of the situation, and we have been talking about the importance of a free press in building a new democracy because it is crucial to always have these critical voices in a society.”
Read more: DVB