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Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to opinion and expression (commentary)

Individual Documents

Title: Background paper on freedom of expression in Myanmar
Date of publication: 23 July 2014
Description/subject: "...The paper briefly looks at the key laws in Myanmar that affect people’s freedom to seek and share information and ideas – whether that is through the media, in everyday conversations, on the Internet, or in demonstrations in the street. For each law, ARTICLE 19 briefly points out where the main obstacles are to protecting and promoting the right to freedom of expression. It explains what international human rights law requires the government to do – or not do – in a certain area, in order to respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression..."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (253K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/37630/background-paper.pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 July 2014


Title: Beginners’ guide to content restriction အေၾကာင္းအရာကန္႔သတ္ခ်က္ဆိုင္ရာ ေယဘုယ်စည္းမ်ဥ္းမ်ား
Date of publication: 23 July 2014
Description/subject: ARTICLE 19 launched this beginners’ guide as part of our work on reform in Myanmar. It is part of a series of such guides which are available at www.article19.org လြတ္လပ္စြာထုတ္ေဖာ္ေျပာဆိုခြင့္ႏွင့္ပတ္သတ္ေသာ နိုင္ငံတကာစံႏႈန္းမ်ား 5 International standards on the right to free expression အေၾကာင္းအရာကန္႕သတ္ခ်က္ဆိုင္ရာေယဘုယ်စည္းမ်ဥ္းမ်ား 13 General rules on content restrictions အေၾကာင္းအရာကန္႔သတ္ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္မႈ၏ သီးျခားအမႈမ်ား 18 Specific cases of content restriction အသေရဖ်က္ျခင္း 19 Defamation အမိ်ဳးသားလံုျခံဳေရးကာကြယ္ေရး၊လူထုျငိမ္၀ပ္ပိျပားေရးႏွင့္လူထုလံုျခံဳ စိတ္ခ်ေရး 33 Protection of national security, public order, public safety အမုန္းတရားျဖစ္ရန္လႈံ႕ေဆာ္ျခင္း 40 Incitement to hatred ဘာသာေရးကုိေစာ္ကားေသာ(ဘုရားသခင္ကိုဆဲဆိုေသာစကား)ကိုထိန္းခ်ုဳပ္သည့္ဥပေဒ 53 Blasphemy laws သတင္းမွား 58 False news ျပည္သူ႕နီတိ 62 Public morals ကိုယ္ပိုင္လြတ္လပ္ခြင့္ 67 Privacy
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (327K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/37633/beginners-guides-to-content-restrictions.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014


Title: Beginners’ guide to freedom of expression laws အေျခခံအဆင့္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာလူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ဥပေဒ လမ္းညႊန္
Date of publication: 23 July 2014
Description/subject: ျမန္မာျပည္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးဆိုင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္အျဖစ္ ၂၀၁၂ တြင္ အေျခခံအဆင့္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ဥပေဒ လမ္းညႊန္စာအုပ္ကို ထုတ္ေ၀ခဲ့သည္။ ဤလမ္းညႊန္ စာအုပ္တြင္ လြတ္လ ပ္စြာထုတ္ေဖာ္ေျပာဆုိင္ခြင့္ကို ေလးစားရန္၊ ကာကြယ္ေစာင့္ေရွာက္ရန္ႏွင့္ ျမင့္တင္ရန္ အစိုးရ မ်ား လုပ္ေဆာင္ရမည့္အရာ၊ မလုပ္ေဆာင္သင့္သည့္အရာမ်ား ကို ရွင္းျပထားသည္။ ARTICLE 19 launched this beginners’ guide as part of our work on reform in Myanmar. It is part of a series of such guides which are available at www.article19.org Regulating print media 3 ပံုႏွိပ္မီဒီယာကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း Regulating journalists 13 သတင္းေထာက္မ်ားကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း Regulating the internet 27 အင္တာနက္ကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း Regulating broadcast media 37 ရုပ္သံလြင့္မီဒီယာကို စီးမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း Regulating film 49 ရုပ္ရွင္ကိုထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခငး္ Regulating freedom of assembly 53 ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းစြာစုေ၀ျခင္း Regulating assess to public information 61 အမ်ားျပည္သူဆိုင္ရာသတင္းအခ်က္အလက္မ်ား ရယူျခင္း
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (259K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37632/en/beginners%E2%80%99-guide-to-freedom-of-expression-laws-for-myanmar
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014


Title: Myanmar: News Media Law - legal analysis (English)
Date of publication: 18 July 2014
Description/subject: Executive summary: "This analysis examines the compliance of the 2014 News Media Law of Myanmar with international standards on freedom of expression and media freedom. The News Media Law introduces some guarantees for media freedom, such as the prohibition of censorship and the recognition of specific rights of media workers. This may be seen as a positive attempt to begin dismantling the extensive apparatus of censorship in the country, and the government should be encouraged to build upon the positive elements of the Law. However, ARTICLE 19 remains seriously concerned with shortcomings in the law. The safeguards for media freedom are heavily qualified and insufficient to meet international standards. All types of media, including print, broadcast and Internet- based media, remain under the unrestricted control of the government through the Media Council. The Media Council is not independent from government, and therefore fails to sufficiently safeguard the media from the application of content-based criminal laws that, while not imposing custodial sentences, still unjustifiably limit freedom of expression. ARTICLE 19 calls on the Myanmar authorities to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and comprehensively reform the News Media Law in order to ensure its compliance with international st andards on freedom of expression."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (154K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/37623/News-Media-Law-Myanmar-EN.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 July 2014


Title: Myanmar: News Media Law - legal analysis - မန္မမာႏိုင္ငံ - သတင္းမီဒီယမဥပေဒ (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 18 July 2014
Description/subject: အစီရင္ခံစမ အက်ဥ္းခ််ဳပ္ ယခုသံုးသပ္မႈသည္ ၂ ၀ ၁ ၄ ခုာႏွစ္တြင္ ျပဌမန္းခ ဲ့သည္ဲ့ ျမန္မမာႏိုင္ငံ၏ သတင္းမီဒီယမဥပေဒသည္ ာႏို္င္ငံတကမ လြတ္လပ္စြမ ေဖမ္ျပ ေျပမဆိုခြင္ဲ့၊ သတင္းလြတ္လပ္ခြင္ဲ့ဆိုင္ရမ စံာႏႈန္းမ်မးာႏွင္ဲ့ ကိုက္ညီမႈ ရွိ - မရွိကို စိစစ္သံုးသပ္္မးျခင္း ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ သတင္းမီဒီယမ ဥပေဒအေနျဖင္ဲ့ သတင္းမီဒီယမ လြတ္လပ္ခြင္ဲ့ကို တစ္စံုတစ္ရမ အစပ််ဳိး ခြင္ဲ့ျပ်ဳ္မးပါသည္။ ဥပမမအမးျဖင္ဲ့ - ဆင္ဆမ စိစစ္တည္းျဖတ္မႈကို တမးျမစ္္မးျခင္း၊ " သတင္း မီဒီယမသမမးမ်မး " ၏ တိက်ေသမ အခြင္ဲ့အေ ရးမ်မးကို အသိ အမွတ္ျပ်ဳ္မးျခင္းတို႔ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ဤသည္မွမ အျပ်ဳသေဘမ လုပ္ေဆမင္မႈအျဖစ္ ရႈျမင္ာႏိုင္ၿပီး၊ ာႏိုင္ငံအတြင္း အက်ယ္အျပန္႔ က်င္ဲ့သံုးေနသည္ဲ့ ဆင္ဆမစိစစ္ တည္းျဖတ္မႈ ယာႏၱယမးမ်မးကို စတင္ၿဖိ်ဳဖ်က္ခ်လိုက္ျခင္းပင္ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ သို႔ျဖစ္ရမ ျမန္မမ အစိုးရအေနျဖင္ဲ့ ယခုဥပေဒ၏ အျပ်ဳသေဘမေဆမင္ေသမ ျပဌမန္းခ်က္မ်မးမွေန၍ ဆက္၍ တည္ေဆမက္သြမးပါရန္လည္း တိုက္တြန္းလိုပါသည္။ သို႔ေသမ္လည္း၊ ပုဒ္မ ( ၁ ၉ ) ARTICLE 19 အဖြ ႔အေနျဖင္ဲ့ ဥပေဒ၏ လိုအပ္ခ်က္မ်မးအေပၚ ႀကီးေလးစြမ စိုးရိမ္ပူပန္မႈမ်မး ရွိေန ပါသည္။ သတင္းမီဒီယမ လြတ္လပ္ခြင္ဲ့အေပၚ ကမကြယ္ေစမငဲ့္ေရွမက္မႈေ ပးျခင္းမွမ အရည္အေသြးမ်မးစြမ ျမင္ဲ့တက္လမေသမ္ လည္း၊ ာႏိုင္ငံတကမ စံာႏႈန္းမ်မးကို ျပည္ဲ့မီျခင္း မရွိေသးပါ။ ပံုာႏွိပ္၊ ္ုတ္လႊင္ဲ့ ာႏွင္ဲ့ အင္တမနက္အေျခခံ မီဒီယမမ်မး အပါအဝင္ မီဒီယမအမ််ဳိးအမည္ အမးလံုးတို႔သည္ သတင္းမီဒီယမ ေကမင္စီ၏ တင္းက်ပ္စြမ ခ််ဳပ္ခ်ယ္မႈမဟုတ္ေသမ ္ိန္းခ််ဳပ္မ တစ္စံု တစ္ရမေအမက္၌ ရွိေနၾကဆ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ယင္းသတင္းမီဒီယမေကမင္စီသည္ အစိုးရာႏွင္ဲ့ သီးျခမး လြတ္လပ္ေနျခင္း မရွိပါ။ သို႔အတြက္ေၾကမင္ဲ့ အေၾကမင္းအရမအေပၚ အေျခခံ၍ ရမဇဝတ္မႈဥပေဒမ်မးျဖင္ဲ့ အသံုးခ် အေရးယူာႏိုင္သည္ဲ့အတြက္၊ သတင္း မီဒီယမမ်မးကို လံုေလမက္စြမ ကမကြယ္မႈ ေပးာႏိုင္ျခင္း မရွိပါ။ ယင္းေကမင္စီက ဆံုးျဖတ္၍ အျပစ္ေပးအေရးယူမႈမ်မး ျပ်ဳာႏိုင္ ျခင္း မရွိေသမ္လည္း၊ က််ဳိးေၾကမင္းခိုင္လံုမႈ မရွိဘ လြတ္လပ္စြမ ေဖမ္ျပေျပမဆိုခြင္ဲ့ကို ကန္႔သတ္ျခင္းမ်မး ရွိေနဆ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ပုဒ္မ ( ၁ ၉ ) ARTICLE 19 အဖြ ႔က ျမန္မမအမဏမပိုင္မ်မးအေနျဖင္ဲ့ အျပည္ျပည္ဆိုင္ရမ ာႏိုင္ငံသမးအခြင္ဲ့အေရးာႏွင္ဲ့ ာႏိုင္ငံေရး အခြင္ဲ့အေရးမ်မးဆိုင္ရမ သေဘမတူညီခ်က္ ( " ICCPR " ) ကို အသိအမွတ္ျပ်ဳပါရန္ ာႏွင္ဲ့ သတင္းမီဒီယမ ဥပေဒကို ဖက္စံုျပည္ဲ့စံု စြမ ျပင္ဆင္ေရးဆြ ပါရန္ ေတမင္းဆိုလိုပါသည္။ သို႔မွသမ လြတ္လပ္စြမ ေဖမ္ျပေျပမဆိုခြင္ဲ့ ာႏိုင္ငံတကမစံခ်ိန္ စံာႏႈန္းမ်မး ာႏွင္ဲ့ ကိုက္ညီလိမ္ဲ့မည္ ျဖစ္ပါသည္
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (161K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/37623/News-Media-Law-Myanmar-BU.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 July 2014


Title: Myanmar: Disappointment surrounds amendment to assembly law
Date of publication: 27 June 2014
Description/subject: "ARTICLE 19 joins parliamentarians and civil society disappointed by the government’s failure to bring the Law on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession in line with human rights standards. Parliamentarians, including U Aung Zin, a member of ARTICLE 19’s civil society partner, the People’s Coalition for Free Expression, believed that they had successfully removed the notorious Section 18 from the Law, which requires demonstrators to get permission from the police prior to demonstrating. The law has led to the prosecution of hundreds of people, many of whom were demonstrating against key issues such as government corruption and land confiscations. Unfortunately, in the amendment signed by the president on 24 June, Section 18 remains. Instead of repealing it, Section 18 has been watered down by requiring the police to have a “valid” reason for refusing permission. It is unclear what the valid reasons are..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (58K)
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Title: Myanmar: Public service media needed but proposed bill inadequate (Burmese)
Date of publication: 26 June 2013
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html (73K)
Date of entry/update: 26 June 2013


Title: Myanmar: Public service media needed but proposed bill inadequate (English)
Date of publication: 26 June 2013
Description/subject: "Establishing a genuine public service media is desperately needed in Myanmar to provide an independent, impartial and balanced source of information, and to encourage pluralism. Unfortunately, the proposed bill on public service media would if adopted continue state control of the media and the disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities. ARTICLE 19 urges parliament to make significant changes before adopting it..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (102K), html (40K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37123/en/myanmar:-public-service-media-needed-but-proposed-bill-inadequate
Date of entry/update: 26 June 2013


Title: Myanmar: Ministry's draft press bill would restore prior censorship and full government control (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 25 March 2013
Description/subject: "A draft press bill put before parliament by the Minister of Information and Communications should be withdrawn or rejected when it has its first reading in June as it would be a major step backwards for freedom of expression and freedom of the media, restoring prior censorship and full governmental control over the press..."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3679/my/
Date of entry/update: 26 March 2013


Title: Myanmar draft printer’s law to reverse media freedom gains
Date of publication: 11 March 2013
Description/subject: "The media community in Myanmar, international groups and observers are abuzz with criticism towards and protest against the Ministry of Information’s (MOI) draft Printers and Publishing Enterprise Law (PPEL) submitted to Parliament recently. And rightfully so. The PPEL bill ensures government's continued grip on the print media through licensing controls, which represent a renewal of the old 1962 Printers and Publications Act (PPA). Furthermore, the MOI’s lack of transparency surrounding the process points to a regime still unwilling to embrace media freedom in its fullest sense. The bill is being introduced by the MOI for the ostensibly benign purpose of establishing rules for conducting such businesses. Apart from the PPEL, bills to regulate the broadcast and online media are also on the agenda of the government..."...Commentary includes Burmese text
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 March 2013


Title: Myanmar: Press bill falls far short of international law and would leave press open to abuse (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 27 February 2013
Description/subject: "Despite promises of reform, a new press bill to be presented in parliament retains a vagueness that will leave the print media open to abuse from the government and other powerful actors. "The draft Press Law Bill (2013) says that the media should become “a fourth pillar” of democracy “watching and guiding the other three”. The media will not however become a fourth pillar under this draft because it undermines their role and overly restricts their work...The bill has both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, it repeals draconian laws and replaces them with provisions that proclaim human rights. On the negative side it falls substantially below international freedom of expression standards..."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html (Commentary, English and Burmese), pdf (3.35-draft bill)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3626/my/%E1%80%BB%E1%80%99%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%E1%80%99%E1%80%AC%E1%81%8B%20%E1%81%8B%E1%80%95%E1%80%B6%E1%80%AF%E1%82%8F%E1%80%BD%E1%80%AD%E1%80%95%E1%80%B9%E1%82%8F%E1%80%BD%E1%80%84%E1%80%B7%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9E%E1%80%90%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%99%E1%80%AE%E1%80%92%E1%80%AE%E1%80%9A%E1%80%AC%20%E1%80%A5%E1%80%95%E1%80%B1%E1%80%92%E1%80%99%E1%80%B0%E1%81%BE%E1%80%80%E1%80%99%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%9E%E1%80%8A%E1%80%B9%20%E1%82%8F%E1%80%AF%E1%80%AD%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%84%E1%80%B6%E1%80%90%E1%80%80%E1%80%AC%E1%80%A5%E1%80%95%E1%80%B1%E1%80%92%E1%80%85%E1%80%B6%E1%80%81%E1%80%BA%E1%80%AD%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%E1%80%80%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%20%E1%80%9C%E1%80%80%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9C%E1%80%BD%E1%80%99%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%20%E1%80%99%E1%80%99%E1%80%BD%E1%80%AE%E1%82%8F%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9E%E1%80%8A%E1%80%B7%E1%80%B9%E1%80%A1%E1%80%BB%E1%80%95%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%20%E1%80%9E%E1%80%90%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%99%E1%80%AE%E1%80%92%E1%80%AE%E1%80%9A%E1%80%AC%E1%80%A1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B8%20%E1%80%A1%E1%80%9C%E1%80%BC%E1%80%B2%E1%80%9E%E1%80%B6%E1%80%AF%E1%80%B8%E1%80%85%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B8%E1%80%BB%E1%80%95%E1%80%B3%E1%80%9C%E1%80%AF%E1%80%95%E1%80%B9%E1%82%8F%E1%80%AF%E1%80%AD%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9B%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%20%E1%80%9C%E1%80%99%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%96%E1%80%BC%E1%80%84%E1%80%B7%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B1%E1%80%95%E1%80%B8%E1%80%BB%E1%80%81%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%BB%E1%80%96%E1%80%85%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9C%E1%80%AD%E1%80%99%E1%80%B7%E1%80%B9%E1%80%99%E1%80%8A%E1%80%B9
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2013


Title: Beginners’ guide to freedom of expression laws အေျခခံအဆင့္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာလူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ဥပေဒ လမ္းညႊန္
Date of publication: 18 December 2012
Description/subject: ARTICLE 19 launched a new series of beginners’ guides to international human rights law in 2012 as part of our work on reform in Burma. The guides explain what governments are expected to do – or not do – in order to respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression. ျမန္မာျပည္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးဆိုင္ရာ လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္အျဖစ္ ၂၀၁၂ တြင္ အေျခခံအဆင့္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ဥပေဒ လမ္းညႊန္စာအုပ္ကို ထုတ္ေ၀ခဲ့သည္။ ဤလမ္းညႊန္ စာအုပ္တြင္ လြတ္လ ပ္စြာထုတ္ေဖာ္ေျပာဆုိင္ခြင့္ကို ေလးစားရန္၊ ကာကြယ္ေစာင့္ေရွာက္ရန္ႏွင့္ ျမင့္တင္ရန္ အစိုးရ မ်ား လုပ္ေဆာင္ရမည့္အရာ၊ မလုပ္ေဆာင္သင့္သည့္အရာမ်ား ကို ရွင္းျပထားသည္။... Regulating print media ပံုႏွိပ္မီဒီယာကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း ... Regulating journalists သတင္းေထာက္မ်ားကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း ... Regulating the internet အင္တာနက္ကို စည္းမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း ... Regulating broadcast media ရုပ္သံလြင့္မီဒီယာကို စီးမ်ဥ္းျဖင့္ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ျခင္း
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (286K)
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Title: Myanmar: The Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession 2012 - Legal Analysis (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 20 September 2012
Description/subject: Executive Summary and Recommendations: In July 2012, "ARTICLE 19 analysed the Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession of Myanmar, adopted by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on 5 July 2012. The provisions of the Decree were examined for their compliance with international standards on human rights. Myanmar has neither signed nor ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or other principal human rights treaties. Nevertheless, ARTICLE 19 suggests that guarantees to the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as provided by Article 364 of the Constitution of Myanmar, allow a wide scope for interpretation and that international standards regarding these rights should provide guidance to such an interpretation. In the analysis, ARTICLE 19 appreciates the Decree’s recognition of the state duty to protect assembly participants. However, the requirement for permission to hold an assembly, the grounds for denying permission, the lack of a court appeal and the absence of guarantees for media access to assemblies are problematic and must be urgently revised. ARTICLE 19 also calls on the Government of Myanmar – in consultation with civil society - to review other legislative measures in light of international standards and to make them compliant with these standards. Recommendations ARTICLE 19 calls on the Government of Myanmar: • To sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; • To invite the UN special rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression to visit Myanmar; • To ensure that the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression are safeguarded in line with international standards; • To revise the Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession in accordance with international standards on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as recommended by ARTICLE 19; • To initiate public discussion about the current legal framework on peaceful assemblies and engage in consultation with civil society representatives on how to improve the relevant legislation. ARTICLE 19 calls on civil society in Myanmar: • To engage in public debates and consultation with the government on how to improve the domestic legislation on peaceful assembly; • To form coalitions between civil society organisations and launch public education campaigns on the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression; • To draft legislative proposals and advocate for specific changes in domestic legislation aiming at the improvement of the protection of the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression; • To seek partnerships with international organisations in a specific mandate on the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (346K-English; 6.54MB-Burmese))
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/3440/12-09-19-LA-Myanmar-BU.pdf
http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3440/en/myanmar:-law-on-assembly-and-procession-inconsistent-with-human-rights
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2012


Title: Analysis of the Guarantees of Freedom of Expression in the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar August 2012
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "When it was first introduced in 2008, the new Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was deemed to be a great improvement over the previous constitution. An important part of this was the more robust guarantees it included for human rights. And an important part of the latter was its relatively strong guarantees for freedom of expression. At the same time, the guarantees for freedom of expression in the 2008 Constitution do not fully meet international standards in this area. This Analysis outlines the key attributes of international standards, and indicate how the guarantees of freedom of expression in the 2008 Constitution fail to meet these standards..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD); International Media Support (IMS)
Format/size: pdf (456K)
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2012


Title: Burma: Role of freedom of expression in democratisation processes
Date of publication: 29 March 2012
Description/subject: 29 Mar 2012 Presentation to the Conference on Media Development in Myanmar, Organised by the Ministry of Information and UNESCO Rangoon, Myanmar, March 19-20, 2012.....CONCLUSION: "...At the outset I emphasised that law is the essential business of government and noted the critical part to be played by the tripartite system of law making, law enacting and law protection. The legislators, executive and judiciary fulfil critical functions without which the rule of law fails and the fabric of sustainable society falls. To set solid foundations for sustainable society, there are important laws, which should be drafted according to international standard and enacted accordingly. Critical are those that protect and uphold the rights to freedoms of expression, assembly and information and freedom of the press. They are a stable society’s backbone and shoulder blades. Robust legal frameworks for freedoms of expression, information and the media are critical and irrevocable human rights in their own right. They are also powerful social goods in that they enable government to fulfil its tri-partite functions, to maintain its responsibilities to the law and to uphold the best practices of good governance. The transparency provided by freedom of information, the scrutiny provided by freedom of the press and the critique provided by freedom of expression create the environment in which high quality accountability government can flourish and deepen. In other words if law is the skeletal framework on which stands and falls the strength and sustainability of a society, then the rights to freedoms of expression, information and the press is also a government’s personal trainer! A challenge, a goal, an encouragement and a motivator: without which no government can perform to the highest standard or achieve the best possible for those who give governments its raison d’etre: the people."
Author/creator: Agnes Callamard
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 April 2012


Title: Acts of Oppression: Censorship and the law in Burma
Date of publication: March 1999
Description/subject: "Freedom of expression has been one of the prime casualties of prolonged military rule in Burma. Since the army first began controlling the levers of state power in 1962, numerous publications have been censored or banned; hundreds of journalists, writers, poets, playwrights and cartoonists, as well as pro-democracy activists have been arrested, detained or sentenced to long prison terms, tortured, ill-treated or otherwise harassed, even killed, and tens of thousands of ordinary people have been punished simply for peacefully expressing their views. The impact has been immense and crippling, reverberating through all aspects of life in Burma and blighting the country?s social, cultural and, particularly, economic development. Years of strong-arm military dictatorship and misrule, buttressed by one of the world?s severest censorship regimes and systematic abuse of human rights, have driven thousands of Burma?s citizens to seek refuge abroad and marked out Burma as a pariah within the international community of nation states..." Contents: I) INTRODUCTION; II) POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL BACKGROUND; III) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW; IV) THE STATE OF THE RULE OF LAW; V) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ITS PROTECTION IN LAW: (a) The constitutional position; (b) Specific legislative measures: a detailed analysis: 1 The Printers and Publishers Registration Law 1962; 2 Emergency Provisions Act 1950; 3 State Protection Law 1975; 4 The Television and Video Law; 5 The Motion Picture Law; 6 The Computer Science Development Law; 7 The Official Secrets Act 1923; 8 Other Laws. VI) EXTRA-LEGAL DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH. VII) CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Author/creator: Venkat Iyer
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19 (ISBN 1 902598 04 0)
Format/size: html (102K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-acts-of-oppression.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Beyond the Law
Date of publication: August 1996
Description/subject: "...Decades of military rule in Burma have prevented the rule of law from taking deep root during the country's post-colonial history. The concept of the rule of law suffered a particularly severe blow with the accession to power of the SLORC in the coup d'etat of 18 September 1988. Most of the laws passed since that date reveal a persistent disregard for internationally-recognized human rights norms. What is more, the few vestiges of constitutionalism and legality that remained at the time of the coup have been all but extinguished by this military government whose legitimacy to govern is highly questionable both under Burmese domestic law and international law...An indication of its lack of good faith is provided by the manner in which it has sought to force through proposals for constitutional reform which are designed to perpetuate military rule under the guise of democratic government. The National Convention, which it created without any mandate or consultation and whose working methods are so patently unfair and lacking in either transparency or legitimacy, bodes ill for the future of democracy and freedom in Burma. Urgent action is required to establish the rule of law, human rights and governmental accountability in Burma. Many of these recommendations have been made by the UN General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights in successive resolutions on Burma since 1990..." FOREWORD... INTRODUCTION... 1 INACCESSIBILITY AND VAGUENESS OF LAWS... 2 CONSTITUTIONAL BACKGROUND... 3 THE LEGITIMACY OF THE COUP D'ETAT OF 18 SEPTEMBER 1988... 4 THE SLORC'S REFUSAL TO TRANSFER POWER: 4.1 The Position Under International Law; 4.2 The Position Under Burmese Domestic Law... 5 THE MARTIAL LAW MEASURES AND THEIR COMPATIBILITY WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW: 5.1 Some General Considerations; 5.2 The Martial Law Measures: A Detailed Analysis; 5.2.1 The Right to Life; 5.2.2 Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; 5.2.3 Cruel and Inhuman Detention Conditions; 5.2.4 Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment; 5.2.5 Fair Trial Concerns; 5.2.6 Freedom of Expression; 5.2.7 Forced Relocations; 5.2.8 Forced Labour and Forced Portering; 5.2.9 Citizenship Rights; 5.2.10 Freedom of Movement, Assembly and Association; 5.2.11 Right to Democratic Participation; 5.2.12 Human Rights Violations against Children and Women; 5.3 Violations of International Humanitarian Law... 6 CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENTS: THE NATIONAL CONVENTION... 7 THE SLORC'S SENSITIVITY TO INTERNATIONAL CRITICISM... 8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Author/creator: K S Venkateswaran
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (359K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-beyond-law.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2005


Title: Censorship Prevails: Political Deadlock and Economic Transition in Burma
Date of publication: March 1995
Description/subject: "Burma remains one of the most heavily censored states in the world. The main instrument of day-to-day censorship continues to be the Printers and Publishers Registration Law of 1962. Introduced shortly after the military coup which brought Gen. Ne Win and his newly-formed BSPP to power, the law has been repeatedly expanded in scope and severity over the years, including by the present SLORC government. Currently, all books, magazines, periodicals, songs and films must be submitted under this law to the Press Scrutiny Board (PSB) prior to being printed or, in some cases, distributed. Books, for example, must be submitted to the PSB before printing and again afterwards to check that no changes have been made, whereas magazines, which must be legally registered, are required to take the more risky method of submitting copies for censorship only after they have been printed. Under the 1985 Video Law, all videos must also be submitted to the Video Censorship Board (which comes under the Film Censorship Board) for pre-publication scrutiny, reflecting the authorities' nervousness about the rapid proliferation of this form of expression..." Contents: 1 Overview of Recent Events; 2 Continuing Mechanisms of Censorship; 3 New Developments in the State Media; 4 Alternative Expression and the Private Sector Media; 4.1 Business Publications; 4.2 Film and Video; 4.3 Literary Rallies; 5 The SLORC's Political Reform Process; 6 Academic Freedom and Education; 7 Constraints on Freedom of Association and Movement; 8 Ethnic Minority Languages and Literature; 9 Foreign Media and Non-Governmental Organizations; 10 Conclusion and Recommendations. Appendix: Writers and Political Activists Imprisoned for the Peaceful Expression of Their Opinions.
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19 (ISBN 1 870798 77 5)
Format/size: html (121K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-censorship-prevails.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: State of Fear: Censorship in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: December 1991
Description/subject: "...T h i s report documents the extent and mechanisms of censorship in Burma and the many restrictions on political, cultural, religious and academic freedoms, both under the former BSPP government and its successor, the SLORC, which assumed power in September 1988. Since then, writers and journalists have continued to be detained, harassed and dismissed from their posts. Publications have been banned and, using new martial law restrictions, press censorship has been further tightened. Foreign journalists have been banned and the SLORC has launched frequent attacks on foreign news organizations and journalists..." 3 The Background to Crisis: 3.1 Economic and Social Collapse; 3.2 Ethnic Strife and Civil War; 3.3 Narcotics and AIDS; 3.4 Ecology; 3.5 Refugees; 3.6 The Issue of Human Rights... 4 Development of the Press in Burma: 4.1 The Colonial Era; 4.2 The Parliamentary Era... 5 The Legacy of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP): 5.1 The Ne Win Period; 5.2 The Media Under Ne Win; 5.3 The 1974 Constitution; 5.4 The Publishing Registration Law; 5.5 Alternative Expression; 5.6 Ethnic Minorities and Burmanization; 5.7 Religious Minorities; 5.8 Literacy... 6 The Press in the 1988 Democracy Summer: 7 The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); 7.1 SLORC Claims of Legitimacy; 7.2 SLORC's Use of the Law; 7.3 SLORC Actions in the pre-Election Period; 7.4 Restrictions on Movement and Forced Relocations of Civilians... 8 The 1990 General Election: 8.1 Arrests and Retrospective Laws in the post-Election Period; 8.2 Continuing Use of Press Laws to Stifle Freedom of Expression; 8.3 Ill-Treatment and Death in Custody of Poltical Prisoners... 9 Cultural and Political Expression Under the SLORC: 9.1 Newspapers; 9.2 SLORC's Cultural Revolution; 9.3 Music and Films; 9.4 Journals, Books and Magazines; 9.5 Education; 9.6 Restrictions on Public Servants and Political Parties; 9.7 Religious Freedom; 9.8 Ethnic Minorities; 9.9 The Insurgent Press... 10 The SLORC and the International Community: 10.1 The Foreign Press; 10.2 The International Response; 10.3 The Reply from the SLORC; 10.4 The Role of the United Nations... 11 Summary of the SLORC Period and Prospects for the Future... 12 Conclusions and Recommendations... Appendix 1: Journalists,Writers and Intellectuals in Detention; Appendix 2: Country Statistics... Appendix 3: Extracts from "What has become of us?" by Min Lu... Appendix 4: SLORC Questionnaire to Public Servants, 1 April 1991... Appendix 5: SLORC Questionnaire to Political Parties, 5 August 1991... Appendix 6: Multilateral and Bilaterall Aid to Burma... Appendix 7: Foreign Company Investments and Trade in Burma... Select Bibliography. ISBN 1 870798 71 6
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (451K - without covers; 720K - with covers)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/State-of-Fear-ocr.pdf (with covers)
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2005