Protection of journalists and human rights defenders bill

Journalists and human rights defenders are regularly attacked for what they say in Myanmar. Reprisal attacks include surveillance, harassment, beatings and killings. Women also face gender-based attacks.

Freedom of expression includes a right to protection from violent reprisals and journalists and human rights defenders urgently need a law that will protect them.

The government has not said that it will create a law to protect journalists or human rights defenders, but the previous USDP government did create the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission which is supposed to investigate complaints.

The Myanmar government is responsible for protecting people and stopping crimes against freedom of expression and should make a new law to protect journalists and human rights defenders.

International standards

The Myanmar government should make a law that:

  1. Creates a flexible set of special measures available for people including journalists and human rights defenders who are being targeted for their free expression. The special measures should include for example police protection.
  2. Guarantees victims of crimes against free expression get independent, speedy and effective investigations and prosecutions.
  3. Guarantees victims access to appropriate remedies.