The Burmese government took legal action against a fashion magazine on Wednesday, which produced sexual material in last month’s publication.
The December issue of Nyhot was said to include ‘sexually arousing photos and articles,’ consisting of images of Burmese women in revealing items of clothing assuming provocative poses, which were accompanied by articles that the editor deemed to be tantamount to sex education.
The magazine title, Nyhot, which approximately translates from the Burmese language to mean ‘Allure,’ was said to have ‘deviated from its charter,’ causing the government to intervene and revoke the magazine’s license to publish. However the content is said to be fairly PG in contrast with the content of Western magazines.
Editor of the magazine, Ko Oo Swe, cheekily told journalists that claims the photos were sexually arousing, depended on ‘the eyes of the beholder.’
Since the new government put an end to direct media censorship last year as part of its reform process, it has encountered some issues over the freedom of publication in Burma, in which some magazines and newspapers published stories of political corruption and civil uprising.
Ko Oo Swe feels that his magazine has been unfairly penalised when other magazines in Burma have strayed from their charter without punishment. However, the sexual content in the Nyhot case has received far more attention from the conservative Burmese nation than other magazine publications.
Ko Oo Swe stated, “What I want to tell the government is to treat all publishers equally.”
Ko Oo Swe continues to defend the magazine on the grounds that the magazine, unlike other overtly erotic magazines, contains the warning ‘not for minors’ on the cover. He also states that the articles in question were written to educate individuals about sexually transmitted diseases, and that he regularly receives negative attention even for advertisements for menstrual hygiene products.
“As our country has opened up and enjoys more freedom, such magazines will be published eventually,” said one reader, “We can’t stop them. We will be able to gain knowledge through this kind of magazine.”
Source: The Irrawaddy