Posts Tagged ‘Freedom of Expression’
Five media workers have been sentenced to two years in prison in Myanmar over the publication of a news story. They are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression [...]
October 17, 2014
Tags: Amnesty International, Burma Government, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights, Imprisonment, Journalists, Media Freedom, Minister of Home Affairs, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, President Thein Sein, United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
| Read more >>
RANGOON — 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: Equality Myanmar, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights, Kachin Peace Network, National Education Bill, National Network for Education Reform, Parliament, President Thein Sein, students
| Read more >>
On 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: Arrest, Burma Partnership, Freedom of Expression, Imprisonment, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Journalists, Media Freedom, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
| Read more >>
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: Buddhism, Burma Army, Ceasefire Agreement, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom of Expression, Government of Myanmar, Human Rights Violations, IDPs, Journalists, Kachin, Land Confiscation, Media, National League for Democracy, Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma, Political Prisoners, President Thein Sein, Proportional representatives, Union Solidarity and Development Party
| Read more >>