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Crackdown on Media Aimed at Hiding Security Force Abuses

Myanmar security forces have launched a full-scale attack on the country’s media, targeting journalists for arrest, raiding the offices of newspapers and online media, and banning five outspoken media outlets. At least 71 journalists, including a Japanese…
P journalist Thein Zaw talks to reporters outside Insein prison after his release Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar.
News

Politicians Persist Despite Violence, Persecution Against Muslim Minority

The Myanmar government is again blocking Rohingya Muslims from running for political office. On Monday, election officials barred Kyaw Min, head of the Rohingya-led Democracy and Human Rights Party (DHRP), from running in the national parliamentary…
Kyaw Min, head of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, speaks during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar, January 10, 2014.
News

Restore Telecommunications, Allow Aid to Conflict Areas

Myanmar authorities have issued a surprise order reinstating the shutdown of mobile internet traffic in five townships in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine and Chin States. Added to four other Rakhine State townships where mobile internet…
A telecommunications tower in Mrauk U township, Rakhine State, Myanmar. The township is one of nine where the government has imposed an internet blackout since June 21, 2019.
News

Civilian Officials’ Intolerance of Criticism Rivaling Military’s

Speech critical of the government is under increasing attack in Myanmar. While the military has long been intolerant of criticism, members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) are not far behind. In the past…
Demonstrators shout slogans at a protest against an amendment to Myanmar’s public assembly law in Yangon, March 5, 2018.
News

Government Uses Draconian Laws to Keep a Grip on the Media

The release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo from a Myanmar prison is a joyous occasion for their families and all of those who have advocated for their release. But it should not blind anyone to the government’s ongoing repression of…
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Reuters Journalists Mark One Year in Prison

It’s been one year since Myanmar police arrested Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo on December 12, 2017. Over the past year, Myanmar’s increasingly restricted state of press freedom has been laid bare for the world to see.…
Detained Reuters journalist Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo sit beside police officers as they leave Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar July 9, 2018.
News

Targeted for Exposing Massacre of Rohingya

A judge in Yangon formally charged two Reuters journalists on Monday for possessing confidential government documents in the latest blow to press freedom in Myanmar. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, detained for the past seven months during…
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo leave Insein court in a police van in Yangon, Myanmar, July 9, 2018.
News

Media Under Assault on World Press Freedom Day

  There’s little cause for celebration this World Press Freedom Day in Myanmar, where freedom of the press is under threat and the space for independent and critical reporting is collapsing. In the last year, despite an ostensible transition…
Detained and handcuffed Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo carries his daughter Moe Thin Wai Zin while arriving for a court hearing in Yangon, Myanmar May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang
News

Government Needs to Repeal or Reform Abusive Laws

  The Myanmar government has ordered the release of three dozen political prisoners, a welcome step that still leaves scores in detention or on trial on politically motivated charges, according to local monitors. Real reform in Myanmar will…
Police officers guard in front of Insein prison while prisoners walk out, who are part of the over 8,000 inmates released to mark Myanmar’s new year amnesty announced by Myanmar's President Win Myint, in Yangon, Myanmar April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang
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On March 10, 2015, about 200 students marching toward Rangoon in protest of a new education law were halted by police just outside the town of Letpadan. The officers attacked the protesters with batons and sticks, taking more than 125 into custody and…
Police hit a student protester in Letpadan on March 10, 2015.
News
The new, civilian-led government in Burma under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership could herald a new era for human rights in Burma. But before euphoria breaks out, the United Nations Human Rights Council should take into account the many challenges Burma…
Soldiers parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Armed Forces Day in Burma's capital Naypyidaw, March 27, 2015.
News
Three university students, Zeyar Lwin, Paing Ye Thu and Nan Lin, are on trial in Rangoon, facing up to five years in prison. Their crime?  Organizing a protest calling on the Burmese military to leave politics and focus on defending the country. But…
Zeyar Lwin arriving at court in Rangoon, January 12, 2016.
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There is no starker evidence of the ethnic cleansing that rocked the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, in Burma in 2012 than the Rohingya Muslim enclave of Aung Mingalar. Crammed into a couple short blocks in the town center, ringed by police and army…
Aung Mingalar mosque
News
Burma took a giant leap backward two weeks ago when it arrested more than 100 students, Buddhist monks, and villagers after a brutal police baton charge that ended days of peaceful protest in the town of Letpadan, north of Rangoon. This week it compounded…
News
Special Branch police reverted to their old intimidation tactics in Rangoon last week by calling various journalists and editors into their Pansodan Street office to answer questions about the budget balance sheets of various daily and weekly newspapers.…
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Burmese movie theatres crackle while the audience munches on sunflower seeds, a human soundtrack I’ve been hearing all week as a jury member for Rangoon’s Human Rights and Dignity Film Festival. The film festival has an eclectic selection of international…
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The release of 69 political prisoners in Burma today is cause for optimism that the drawn-out persecution of peaceful activists, which reached its apex just a few years ago when up to 2,000 people were locked up, is drawing to a close. Today’s amnesty…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…