Journalists in Myanmar Protest Defamation Law

The law was enacted during the military’s rule in 2013

Over a hundred Journalists met in Myanmar’s Yangon city on June 6th to protest Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law which was passed in 2013 at a time when Myanmar was still under the rule of the military.

The journalists are working on a campaign to have the law abolished.

According to a report by Global Voices, the telecommunications law has 86 sections, out of which section 66(d) which refers to online defamation, was the most controversial, due to the fact that it allowed the military to charge activists, journalists, and their other critics with defamation.

Under the provision, anyone who uses  a “telecommunication network to extort, threaten, obstruct, defame, disturb, inappropriately influence, or intimidate” will be “punished with imprisonment for a term extending to a maximum of three years, and shall be liable to fine or both.”

Critics of the law have said that the law is too vaguely worded and is subject to vast interpretation which allows the government to charge anyone for online defamation. Since the law was passed, several journalists and activists have been arrested and charged with defamation.

Read more here

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