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Myanmar deports Australian journalist

YANGON, Myanmar – Authorities in Myanmar said Thursday they have deported an Australian video journalist for covering a press freedom rally without a proper visa.

Angus Watson, an intern with the Democratic Voice of Burma, boarded a flight Thursday for Thailand.

He was covering a protest in Magwe region against a one-year prison sentence given to another broadcast journalist, Zaw Pe, who was found guilty last month of entering an education department office without authorization and interviewing students.

Myanmar only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule. A nominally civilian government installed in 2011 has been widely praised for freeing up the press, but media watchdog groups warn the climate is worsening. Several journalists have been arrested, tried and jailed in recent months, some on criminal charges.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said on Facebook that Watson was “deported for taking part in a protest, violating the visa regulations.”