ARTICLE 19 commends the Special Rapporteur for his continued work on bringing human rights violations to light in Myanmar.
We are dismayed at the increased use of the death penalty by the military junta as the ultimate tool for silencing those expressing dissent, including against journalists, protesters and political opponents. On 3 June, the military announced the convictions and death sentences imposed on four perceived political opponents and democracy activists after grossly unfair proceedings. This adds to at least 114 death sentences that have been carried out since the 2021 coup. We deplore these actions and urge the military authorities to immediately halt plans to carry out the executions and establish an official moratorium on executions.
In 2022, there has been an increase in arrests of individuals on incitement and terrorism charges in response to social media posts. On 5 May, the military announced it had arrested 229 people for violating the country’s Anti-Terrorism Law and Electronic Communications Law, which prohibits distribution of ‘anti-military propaganda’ online. In line with Resolution 49/23, the military must immediately repeal these laws and cease the arrest of civil society actors.
As highlighted in our report Unplugged in Myanmar, Internet shutdowns and disruptions to telecommunication networks continue to be wielded to shroud serious human rights violations. On 24 May, the Ministry of Transport and Communications reportedly ordered all telecommunications operators to cut mobile phone services to eight townships. We call on the military authorities to cease such measures, as well as to repeal Section 77 of the Telecommunications Law, which is often invoked to facilitate online censorship.