(New York, January 25, 2015) – The authorities in Burma should stop arresting peaceful protesters and immediately and unconditionally free those imprisoned, Human Rights Watch said today. Burma’s donors should press for amendments to Burmese law so that it protects the rights to freedom of assembly, association, and expression […]January 26, 2015 | By Human Rights Watch | Tags: Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Watch, Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law | Read more >>
Two members of the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF) have been given jail terms for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. They must be immediately and unconditionally released. Charges against a third person, who is married to one of the MDCF members and was exercising her right to peaceful protest, should be dropped […]November 6, 2014 | By Amnesty International | Tags: Amnesty International, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom of Expression, Htin Kyaw, Human Rights, Imprisonment, Ministry of Home Affairs, Movement for Democracy Current Forces, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Peaceful Assembly, PM Thein Sein, Special Rapporteur, Tomas Ojea Quintana, Universal Declaration of Human Rights | Read more >>
Burma Campaign UK today called for the immediate and unconditional release of the Bi Mon Te Nay journalists. Bi Mon Te Nay Journal’s three journalists Kyaw Zaw Hein, Win Tin, Thura Aung, and owners Yin Min Htun and Kyaw Min Khaing were arrested in July, and were investigated by the Special Branch police in Burma […]October 30, 2014 | By Burma Campaign UK | Tags: Burma Campaign UK, Burma Government, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Violations, Imprisonment, Journalists, Media, Myanmar Democratic Current Force, President Thein Sein, Special Rapporteur, United Nations Human Rights Council | Read more >>
As the new UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, today presents her first report to the 69thsession of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Amnesty International calls on the UNGA to adopt a resolution on the country which addresses the government’s backtracking on human rights […]October 28, 2014 | By Amnesty International | Tags: Amnesty International, Freedom of Expression, Kachin Independence Army, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Political Prisoners, Rohingya, UN General Assembly, United Nations Convention Against Torture, United Nations General Assembly Resolution | Read more >>
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 | By Amnesty International | 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 >>
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 | By Amnesty International | Tags: Amnesty International, Arrest, Freedom of Expression, Imprisonment, Journalists, Media Freedom | 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 >>
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 | By Amnesty International | Tags: Amnesty International, Burma Government, Freedom of Expression, Htin Kyaw, Human Rights Defenders, Imprisonment, Movement for Democracy Current Forces | Read more >>
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 | By Amnesty International | Tags: Amnesty International, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom of Expression, Government of Myanmar, Human Rights, Imprisonment, Land Confiscation, President Thein Sein | 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 | By Burma Partnership | 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 >>