Myanmar’s first democratically elected civilian government in decades has prosecuted large numbers of peaceful critics in violation of basic human rights. 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. 

Human Rights Watch documented 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.