Burma's Telecommunications Law Threatens Freedom of Expression


On June 4, 2017, Burmese authorities arrested U Tun Tun Oo, leader of the Human Rights Activists Association, citing Burma’s notorious Telecommunications Law. He was arrested for livestreaming the play “We Want No War,” which is critical of the army’s historical persecution of ethnic groups. Two days before his arrest, Burmese authorities detained two journalists under the Telecommunications Law for publishing an article that allegedly “mocked” the army’s role in the country’s recent civil war for allegedly violating the same law. While Article 66(d) of Burma’s Telecommunications Law was originally written to prevent “defamation” over the internet, it has been manipulated by security forces to target individuals who are critical of the government. Since April 2016, the military and the government have cited the law in 61 defamation cases against Burmese citizens, despite heavy criticism from local free speech advocates. Click here to join us in sharing this story and asking the government of Burma to #SetThemFree!