A Congratulation Message to journalists without fear or favor around the world

A Congratulation Message to journalists without fear or favor around the world
3 May, 2020
Yangon, Myanmar

Today, the 3rd of May is World Press Freedom Day. It is also a time of unprecedented to the world’s most infectious disease COVID-19 and in the meantime of this period of a fierce war for both the world and Myanmar. 

We cannot ignore the role of journalists around the world. On the other hand, role of misinformation and disinformation can even make many people suffered till their death.

It is a time of crisis in every part of the world, as journalists have to struggle day and night to keep us up with the news. However, some journalists had to face reduction, termination of employment, get arrested, and many more threats.

In such a situation in the world, journalists around the world could overcome all the struggles we all world citizens had faced by keeping freedom of expressions and unwavering ethical commitment without fear of or favour from people in power.

Due to the global pandemic, journalists are trying their best to give the public the truth news by risky their own life. PEN Myanmar pays homage to those journalists in honor of World Press Freedom Day.

PEN Myanmar

Statement of PEN Myanmar (3/2020)

Statement of PEN Myanmar (3/2020)
17th of April 2020, Yangon, Myanmar
Encouraging the prevention of Fake News, Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech

  1. We can see there is a lot of fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and scams about the disclosures of the Global Pandemic of COVID-19. In addition to addressing issues related to Pandemic, we also find discrimination of the hate speech in terms of/among race, ethnicity, political and sexual orientations which were also mentioned. Besides, discrimination against health workers and volunteers were also reported.
  2. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states that: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It is a responsibility and the responsibility of other’s Rights, Integrity, Public Safety; Agreements and contracts are explicitly defined in which International standards must be followed to avoid harm to health and harmony.
  3. Therefore, PEN Myanmar strongly urged for regarding fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and scams about the Global Pandemic of COVID-19 where everyone should be careful about Hate Speech and Harmful words and we should only share the correct information. We should not  believe the news easily and it should be checked by the source of the news and authorities who release information: Armed Groups and relevant organization should publish information in a timely and accurate manner and use our rights to freedom of expression where we should fight against the danger of hate speech, misinformation and fake news.

PEN Myanmar Center

Statement of PEN Myanmar (2/2020)

Statement of PEN Myanmar (2/2020)
1st of April 2020, Yangon, Myanmar
Encouraging the implementation of the media law

  1. On March 30 in the evening, it is reported that U Nay Lin @ U Nay Myo Lin, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Voice of Myanmar (VOM) website, was brought in to interview by people in charge from Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It was heard that U Nay Lin @ U Nay Myo Lin has been charged under Articles 50 (a) and 52(a) of the Counter-terrorism Law for the inclusion and publishing of news about Arakan Army (AA) and interviews of AA spokesperson Khine Thu Kha. In the same incident, U Khine Mrat Kyaw, the editor-in-chief of Narinjara New Agency based Rakhine State and Myanmar Press Council’s member, also have been sued under Articles 50(a) and 52(a) of the Counter-terrorism Law. On March 31 evening, police visited the residence of U Hline Thit Zin Wai, the editor-in-chief of the Yangon Khitthit News and Myanmar Press Council 2nd Secretary, where police have conducted personal checks and property inspections.
  2. According to Media Code of Conduct by Myanmar Press Council Chapter 1: Accuracy, balance and fairness sub-section 1.1 it says “Media outlets have a duty to be balanced, impartial and fair in the treatment of news and current affairs. This implies that media outlets report and interpret news and current affairs honestly, and take care not publish or broadcast content which is inaccurate or distorted, or which may mislead or confuse readers, viewers or listeners”.
  3. In 2014 News Media Law it defined as Chapter 4: Duties and Code of Conduct to be complied by the Newsmen Section 9(a) “Scrutiny of completing as much as they can and preciseness and correctness on every information” and Section 9 (i) “Compliance with code of conduct and term issued by Myanmar News Media Council” along with Chapter 8: Action Section 21. “In case of damaged or aggrieved department, organization or person breaching the provision of the duties and code of conduct of section 9, sub‐sections b, d, f, g, initial complain shall be to the council”.
  4. In the statement released (11/2020) from Myanmar Press Council on March 31 also urged to report first to them if they are dissatisfied according to the News Media Law. In the statement issued of journalist’s sanctions by PEN Myanmar also strongly approach to report first if they were not satisfied corresponding to the News Media Law.
  5. By practicing freedom of the press and to encourage journalists who are acting in a fair and balanced manner in accordance with Chapter 1: article 1.1 of Media Code of Conduct. If there is a dispute over reporting of journalist, we urge the relevant authorities to first report to Myanmar Press Council under the News Media Law.

You can contact Han Zaw, Director
Ph.no: +95 9443081350


Statement of PEN Myanmar (1/2020)

Statement of PEN Myanmar (1/2020)
28th of January 2020, Yangon, Myanmar
Urging to review of actions that impede freedom of speech and expression

1. Advocate, U Kyee Myint, U Nay Myo Zin and poet Saw Wai, member of PEN Myanmar, preached to the people in Kawthaung for supporting of the Union of Myanmar Constitutional Amendment Joint Committee’s (2018) which is organized by the order of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Office No. (15/2019) on April 3, 2019.

2. Lieutenant Colonel Zaw Zaw, from the Coast Guard’s Division (Sa Ka Kha-20), filed the case with criminal code (923) against the speakers because the preaching abases the military’s reputation. The court has taken action under section 505 (a).

3. PEN Myanmar is an organization of promoting and preventing the right to have freedom of speech and expression. Poet, Saw Wai is one of the elected directors of PEN Myanmar from the start of December of 2019.

4. It was significant that prosecuting the public with notices of a constitutional amendment does not improve the reputation of the military. PEN recognizes that an organization’s integrity can be enhanced only when it protects the right to freedom of expression.

5. Regarding the complaint of Lieutenant Colonel Zaw Zaw, it was found that the actions of the court are inconsistent with the existing laws.

6. It was found that the warrants for the poet, Saw Wai without legal notice were illegal, and the taking actions to the advocate, U Kyee Myint was also illegal.

7. We urge the respective authorities to review the actions of judiciary which promoting the rule of law.

PEN Myanmar Center

Statement on the arrest of individuals including journalists practicing freedom of expression


Statement on the arrest of individuals including journalists practicing freedom of expression

  1. Freedom of expression is the basic human right of all citizens. A person has the right to express his opinions which might be disagreeable by others and he has the right to live peacefully without being repressed or discriminated by expressing his opinions.
  2. Nonetheless, the arrest of the person including journalist practicing freedom of expression has been continuously occurred since before the New Year Water festival.
  3. These include
    1. Director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi was prosecuted under Article 505 (a) of the Penal Code and Section 66 (d) of the Telecommunication Law by the military on the 29th of March, 2019,
    2. 7 members of Peacock generation group were prosecuted under Article 505 (a) of the Penal Code and Section 66 (d) of the Telecommunication Law by the military in April, 2019,
    3. Ye Ni, senior editor of the Irrawaddy News Media, was prosecuted under Section 66 (d) of the Telecommunication Law by the Yangon Regional Military in April, 2019,
    4. Aung Min Oo, chief editor of Development Media Group, was prosecuted under the Article 17 (2) at No. 1, police station in Sittwe on the 1st of May, 2019, and
    5. Nanda from Channel Mandalay News was arrested at Patheingyi Police Station on the 15th of May, 2019.
  4. PEN Myanmar had already welcomed the President’s amnesty which released the two Reuter’s reporters.
  5. Nonetheless, according to the third paragraph, the arrest and prosecution to those who practicing freedom of expression by the military as well as the Ministry of Home Affair are occurring terribly.
  6. Regardless of organizations, such prosecutions humble the freedom of expression of our country and therefore, PEN Myanmar urges the current government to reconsider and solve the above cases.

PEN Myanmar Center