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Last updated: 20 June, 2011 - Published 12:05 GMT
 
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Exiled media fight on, says RSF
 
RSF has highlighted work of the JDS as an example for Sri Lanka's exiled media
RSF has highlighted work of the JDS as an example for Sri Lanka's exiled media
International press freedom watchdogs are paying tributes to media workers who continue working as journalists after being forced to flee their homelands due to threats to freedom of expression.

Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says, by continuing with journalism, exiled journalists defy those who tried to silence them.

Commemorating Word Refugee Day on Monday, RSF has highlighted the threats to freedom of expression in Burma, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Cuba through the plight of exiled journalists.

"These journalists feel compelled to keep reporting, in order to prevent a veil of silence from being drawn over their country, in order to thwart the press freedom predators who took pleasure in forcing them to flee abroad," the press freedom watchdog said.

Burma, ranked 174 among 178 countries in RSF Press Freedom Index, is "Asia's biggest prison for journalists and bloggers after China," says the watchdog.

'Nothing but lies'

Aye Chan Naing, editor in chief of democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) based in the Norwegian capital Oslo, has told the watchdog that their campaign is aimed at informing the international community of the real situation in Burma.

 These journalists feel compelled to keep reporting, in order to prevent a veil of silence from being drawn over their country, in order to thwart the press freedom predators who took pleasure in forcing them to flee abroad
 
RSF

"Our reporters in Burma are forced to work in the utmost secrecy. Every day the state media pump out their propaganda, insisting that the reports broadcast by the DVB, the BBC, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia are nothing but lies," he said.

In Sri Lanka, dozens of journalists -Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim -are in exile due to threats by the government.

Rohitha Bashana Abeywardene, spokesman for Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), told BBC Sinhala service that all exiled journalists are looking forward to go back to the country to continue with their profession.

He categorically rejected accusations by the Sri Lankan government that some journalists are fabricating stories to leave Sri Lanka as economic migrants.

The report also highlights examples of exiled journalists from Rwanda, Kenya, Cuba, Azerbaijan and Iran, where there are serious threats to independent journalism.

 
 
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