26 January 2023.
The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is today releasing a brief Note on a 2021 Amendment to Myanmar’s Counter-Terrorism Law. This Amendment, introduced by the military regime after the February 2021 coup, increased the penalties for a number of vaguely defined expressive acts linked to terrorism from one to three years’ to three to seven years’ imprisonment, thereby exacerbating the already problematical nature of these offences.
“Most of the terms used in these offences are far too vague to meet international human rights standards for restrictions on freedom of expression, so the offences are illegitimate to begin with,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “Increasing the penalties for them aggravates their chilling effect and is yet another illustration of the marked deterioration in respect for human rights in Myanmar since the coup.”
The offences to which the increased penalties apply are “acts of exhortation, persuasion, propaganda, [and] recruitment of any person to participate in any terrorist group or activities of terrorism”. The Note provides an overview of the applicable international human rights standards followed by a brief analysis of the Amendment. CLD calls for this Amendment to be repealed and, at such time as democracy is reinstated, for section 3(b)(xv) and other problematic provisions in the Counter-Terrorism Law to be reviewed through a proper democratic consultative and legislative process.
The Note is available in English here and in Burmese here.
For further information, please contact:
Centre for Law and Democracy