Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens
The Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens was adopted by the National League for Democracy government on 8 March 2017 to enact Article 357 of the Constitution.
Article 8(f) criminalises defamation: "no one shall act in any way to slander or harm [a citizen's] reputation". Article 10 says that anybody found guilty under Article 8(f) shall be punished with a prison sentence between six months and three years, and a fine between 300,000 and 1,500,000 kyats.
Defamation should not be criminal. International standards say that criminal punishment is too severe to protect someone’s reputation and should be replaced with civil laws (like the Maldives and Sri Lanka). Criminal defamation laws are usually used by powerful people to exploit the power of the state to silence legitimate criticism.
Defamation laws should define defamation and include applicable defences. For more information on international standards that relate to defamation, please see our page on defamation standards.
Repeal Article 8(f) and adopt a new civil defamation law.