Myanmar: Beginners' guide to freedom of expression
18 Dec 2012
ARTICLE 19 has launched a beginners’ guide to freedom of expression in both English and Burmese, covering the regulation of the print media, broadcasting, journalists and the internet.
The beginners’ guide was developed following a request from members of Myanmar’s ’88 Generation and was launched at a series of workshops with journalists, editors, lawyers, political activists, MPs and human rights defenders over the past week.
It explains, in accessible language, what the new government is expected to do – and not to do – in order to respect, protect and fulfil the right to freedom of expression.
The beginner’s guide answers such questions as:
- Are human rights important when regulating the print media?
- Can the state suspend or ban a newspaper?
- What should press councils do with people who break the code?
- What are the common problems with laws relating to journalists?
- Should the broadcast media be regulated in law?
- Should the internet be regulated?
- Is surveillance of the internet okay?
ARTICLE 19 was invited by the Ministry of Information for our first official visit to attend a meeting in March 2012. During the mission, Generation ’88 members, who led the demonstrations in 1988 that brought about elections, asked ARTICLE 19 to produce an accessible guide for what new laws should say to protect the right to freedom of expression. The beginners’ guide does this and has now been launched during a second mission to the country.
ARTICLE 19 is establishing an office in Myanmar to assist local activists to ensure new laws are consistent with international human rights standards, and to monitor changing violations of the right to freedom of expression.