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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Expression’

Myanmar: Imprisoned Media Workers’ Sentences Reduced

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imprisoned media workers’ sentences reduced

Five media workers from Unity newspaper in Myanmar had their sentences reduced on appeal to seven years’ imprisonment. They were jailed in connection with their journalistic activities and are prisoners of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released. [...]

October 3, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | Read more >>

Backlash Grows Against Burma’s National Education Bill

23 Sept 2014 Photo By Sai Zaw The IrrawaddyRANGOON — More than 200 civil society organizations have joined a national network of education organizations and a growing chorus of voices in rejecting a draft National Education Bill that looks likely to soon pass into law.

The National Network for Education Reform (NNER), which came out against the bill after it was passed by Parliament in late July, was joined this week by a diverse coalition of groups opposing the legislation because they say it violates “human rights standards.” [...]

September 23, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Read more >>

Myanmar: Authorities must End ‘Relentless Persecution’ of Activist

Myanmar authorities must end their relentless persecution of a prominent human rights activist who faces trial again tomorrow after having already been sentenced to almost a decade in prison for “crimes” such as holding a candlelight vigil, Amnesty International said [...]

September 10, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , | Read more >>

Document – Myanmar: Imprisoned for Peacefully Protesting: U Sein Than

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imprisoned for peacefully protesting

Community leader U Sein Than has been imprisoned in Myanmar for participating in a series of peaceful protests. He faces further charges related to the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. U Sein Than is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released [...]

September 4, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Read more >>

Draconian Sentences of Unity Weekly Journalists Must at the Very Least be Drastically Reduced

10 July 2014 Photo Lwin Lwin Myint IrrawaddyOn Thursday 28 August, lawyer Robert San Aung submitted to Magwe regional court the final appeal against the harsh verdicts brought against the five Unity Weekly journalists on10 July. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment with hard labor following the publication of a report in January of this year that gave details of an alleged chemical weapons facility in central Burma. They were charged for trespass and for “disclosing state secrets” in violation of the 1923 Official Secrets Act (OSA). Robert San Aung submitted the appeal on the grounds that the four reporters are innocent and should therefore be released from prison, and that the sentence of the journal’s executive be reduced by half. The Magwe regional court is expected to issue a decision within a month.

While the offense under Section 3(1)(a) of the OSA is a strict liability offense – meaning that the prosecution only has to prove that the defendants were in the vicinity of the prohibited place for them to be found guilty – in order for the other convictions to stand, the burden is on the prosecution to show that the secrets alleged to have been leaked were intended to or were likely to have breached state security or assisted an enemy. The journalists must be shown to have leaked detailed and useful information, to have done more than just report that the facility was a weapons factory. It is not clear that the prosecution ever satisfied this requirement.

Even so, if the appeal submission fails to convince the court either that the journalists are not guilty of any substantive offenses, or that there are specific and legitimate defenses under the OSA that can be relied upon, then at the very least the appeal should be successful on grounds of mitigation regarding the alleged offenses, meaning that the sentences should at a minimum be drastically reduced [...]

September 2, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Read more >>

THREE MDCF ACTIVISTS JAILED, FOURTH ON TRIAL

Three activists from the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF) have been imprisoned and a fourth is on trial, as a result of their peaceful political activities. They are prisoners of conscience [...]

August 28, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Read more >>

January – June 2014: Report on the Human Rights Situation on Burma

Reports on Human Rights Situation on Burma January-June 2014Introduction

The Network for Human Right Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma) is an organization that documents and reports human rights violations taking place throughout Burma. We are a watch-dog for human rights violations and are continually monitoring the human rights situation in Burma.

This report covers the first period of 2014 and focuses on 103 documented cases of human rights violations in Burma from January-June 2014. There are many serious human rights violations addressed and highlighted in this report, including: torture, extra-judicial killing, illegal arrests and detention, arbitrary taxation, property crimes, forced labor, human trafficking, forced displacement and rape.

Even though President U Thein Sein promised to release all political prisoners by the end of 2013, there are still many political prisoners in Burma, including new detainees in 2014. Many human right defenders and activists have been arrested under the Unlawful Association Act of 1908, Section 5 (e) and 5 (j) of the Emergency Provisions Act, and Section (18) of the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Act. For example, U Win Cho and U Nay Myo Zin were arrested under Section (18) for protesting the confiscation of land in Kyauk Ta Dar Township, Yangon. Moreover, innocent Kachin IDPs were arrested under Section (17) of the Unlawful Association Act for suspected contact with ethnic armed groups. These actions reinforce the fact that the government in Burma is still willing to use oppressive and unjust laws against the Burmese people [...]

August 14, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Read more >>

Four Journalists Now “Only” Facing Two-year Sentences on Reduced Charges

A court in the southern Rangoon suburb of Padeban announced yesterday that the five Bi Mon Te Nay journalists still being held will no longer face charges under the draconian Emergency Act that carry a possible 14-year sentence, but will still be tried on lesser penal code charges [...]

August 5, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , | Read more >>

Four Detained Newspaper Journalists Appear in Court on Emergency Provisions Act Charges

Four of the seven journalists with the weekly Bi Mon Te Nay who were arrested more than two weeks ago on charges of publishing false information and threatening state security were brought before a court in the southern Rangoon suburb of Padeban on 22 July for a preliminary hearing [...]

July 25, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , | Read more >>

BURMA/MYANMAR: Immediate Need for Fair Trial and Remedies for Free Speech

During the three year period of new Myanmar Government, new political reforms have been taking place. The authorities stopped censoring the media in June 2012 and also allowed private news media groups to print newspapers in April 2013. As people in Burma only had state owned newspapers for the previous decade, elderly journalists and society of media appreciated this with welcoming heart. Today, news outlets can freely debate political issues and human rights abuse cases that they could not discuss during the military dictatorship, not because they were afraid of but because they could not get published. Even after they stopped censorship, prosecution of the government started to bring journalists in accordance with applicable laws [...]

July 21, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , | Read more >>
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