7 Day Media MyanmarMyanmar 7 Days Media
Military, 7 days daily Settle Libel Fall
Burma's army and 7 Day Daily have reached an agreement in a slander case over a quote from a Shwe Mann Facebook posting that has angered the army. On Saturday, the army brought a lawsuit against 7 Day Daily, a YANGON, Burma' s daily, in response to a report released on April 24 containing a former General Shwe Mann's embassy to Defense Services Academy alumni calling on them to cooperate with the country' s new democratically-elected government.
This case was submitted under Section 131 of Burma's Penal Code of the Colonization Period, which penalizes anyone "who favors rebellion or tries to deceive an army commander of his loyalty or duty", a felony that involves up to ten years in jail. On Tuesday, the 7-day daily paper ran reports saying that it was publishing the tale without any intent to incite infidelity to the state or the army or to encourage troops not to carry out their missions.
"We are very sorry that history has lead to misunderstandings that have lead to the moment. We' re respectfully informing Tatmadaw (the Burmese army) and our compatriots 7 days a day that we had no intent of hurting anyone in the publication of the tale, and we've only made it public honestly,' it says in the declaration.
Myanmar: Patterns of assaults on media freedoms must stop
The NLD-run administration has applied oppressive legislation to detain, persecute and detain reporters since it came to office in 2016 and has not kept its promise to change a faulty and outdated legal regime. Especially those who report abuses of governmental authority have been picked out in retaliatory trials based on legislation previously used by the country's ruling powers to repress disagreements.
In order to turn this tendency around and create an atmosphere in which media can speak in a free and fearless manner without retaliatory measures, pressing measures are needed. In Myanmar, two Reuters correspondents will be spending World Press Freedom Day behind bars for investigating a Rohingya men slaughter by Myanmar army troops.
On December 12, 2017, Walt Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained after they received formal administrative records from policemen. Algerian lawsuits against Mr Lone and Mr Kyaw Soe Oo have attracted widespread interest, not least because they have revealed the NLD government's blatant contempt for the free media and the constitutional state.
The case, however, is an example of a wider set of NLD-led NLD-led assaults on media freedoms, which include the following cases: The Myanmar Army brought a complaint under Art. 131 of the Criminal Code against a reporter and publisher of the 7 Day Daily on June 25, 2016, after the paper issued an editorial in which a former general called on the troops to work with the state.
This case was closed after the newspapers apologized for the story. The Yangon Territorial Council of 10 November 2016 brought an indictment under Art. 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act against eleven Myanmar leaders Than Htut Aung and editor-in-chief Wai Phyo after the document allegedly covered intergovernmental bribery. They were detained for two month in jail before being freed on deposit, and the charge was later dismissed.
Two Kachin men, Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng, were detained on December 24, 2016, after supporting reporters of a Myanmar army assault on a community Christianity. For slander, Dumdaw Nawng Lat was convicted to four years and three month in prison under the Illegal Associations Act, the Import/Export Act and Article 500 of the Criminal Code.
A follower of ultra-nationalist Wirathu accused Myanmar Now Editor Swe Win under Art. 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act on March 7, 2017, after publishing a critique on his Facebook page. Supplementary criminal code indictments, following Swe Win's open statement about Wirathu in replying to the first case, were then rejected by the tribunal.
Kyaw Min Swe and Kyaw Zwa Naing were detained on June 2, 2017, in accordance with Art. 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act and Art. 25(b) of the Media Act, after members of the armed forces brought a charge of a satirical piece on the mission of the army in the peacemaking trial.
In June, Kyaw Zwa Naing was cleared of the Article 66(d) accusations, and the army dropped all accusations against the men in September. Lawi Weng of the Irrawaddy and Aye Naing and Pyae Bone Naing of the Council of Burma (DVB), along with four others, were arrested on 26 June 2017 after they reported on a cremation ceremonies in an area of Shan State controlled by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
The three were discharged from jail in September. routinely harassing reporters under NLD supervision has hindered the media sector's growth during the alleged democratisation of Myanmar. Reporters are aware of the possible implications if they draw public awareness to wrongdoing by the authorities or report on sensible topics.
Attempts have been made by the regime to repress coverage of the Rohingya people. Unaccessible by the agencies to the areas affected by the Rakhine crisis, except in the context of high-level choreographic travel organised by civil servants. Attempting to subvert sovereign media coverage of the dispute, civil servants have launched a consciously misinformed advertising drive, calling coverage of abuses of human freedoms "fake news".
Myanmar's legal environment offers the public sector a wide variety of regulations to censure speeches and address reporters on delicate issues. While the Telecommunications Act was passed under the former regime, it is still used as an instrument to censure on-line speeches by reporters and other media people. More than 100 people, at least 18 of them journalist, have been indicted since the NLD took over.
Representative acts from the colonisation period, such as the Law on Illegal Organisations and the Law on Official Secrets, as well as various regulations of the Penal Code are still in the accounts and are inconsistent with the right to free speech. News media law, printing and publishing law and broadcasting law also do not meet global norms and need to be reformed to guarantee an autonomous, efficient and efficient media industry.
Rather than taking measures to amend oppressive legislation and allow the NLD regime to report independently, the NLD seems willing to use all the instruments at its disposition to protect itself from critique and suffocate coverage of violence and forensics. The free and sovereign media is a key pillar of good and proper democracy and has a vital part to play in the investigation and resolution of atrocities.