Human Rights Watch

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Myanmar: Peaceful Critics Prosecuted

Repeal or Amend Laws Criminalizing Speech, Assembly

Thursday 31 January 2019

(Yangon, February 1, 2019) – Myanmar’s first democratically elected civilian government in decades has prosecuted large numbers of peaceful critics in violation of basic human rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Concerned governments should press Myanmar to protect the rights to expression and assembly, and reform laws penalizing peaceful speech to bring them in line with international standards.

The report “Dashed Hopes: The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Myanmar” documents the use of broad and vaguely worded laws against activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy-led government. While discussion of a wide range of topics now flourishes in the media and online, those speaking critically of the government, military, or their officials, as well as abuses in Rakhine or Kachin States, are frequently subject to arrest and prosecution.

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