Burma arrests Australian publisher

RANGOON, BURMA: Ross Dunkley, the Australian founder and co-owner of the English-language newspaper Myanmar Times, was arrested in Burma under the country's immigration law, Mizzima News reported.

Dunkley is being held in Burma's notorious Insein Prison, which is home to many political prisoners and others who have found disfavor with the military government, after being arrested at his home in Rangoon on Friday, according to police.

David Armstrong, chairman of Post Media Ltd. publishers of Phnom Penh Post, expressed deep concern over the arrest of Dunkley, who is also a publisher of the Cambodian newspaper.

"Some reports of the reasons for his arrest have been seriously inaccurate. A key point about the arrest is timing. It coincides with tense and protracted discussions Mr Dunkley and the foreign ownership partners in the Myanmar Times have been conducting with local partners about the future direction of the publishing group, ownership issues and senior leadership roles – all this at a time of significant political and economic change in Myanmar," he said, as cited by the Phnom Penh Post.

Dunkley was arrested under Section 13 (1) of the immigration law after returning from a business trip to Tokyo. The section is frequently used by the Burmese regime to punish people who violated immigration laws, yet it is still unclear why Dunkley was arrested.

Burma has one of the worst records for press freedom.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )

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