HRW report points to deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar

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Freedom of expression has deteriorated under the first democratically elected government in Myanmar, says a new report by the Human Rights Watch.

HRW said in its report, Dashed Hopes: The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Myanmar, that Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy government has been using broad and vaguely worded laws against activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens.

Those who spoke critically of the government, military, or their officials, as well as abuses in Rakhine or Kachin States, are frequently subject to arrest and prosecution, the report said.

“Abuses against the press under Myanmar’s new government have been particularly striking,” said Linda Lakhdhir, Asia legal advisor at Human Rights Watch and author of the report.

“Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy promised a new Myanmar, but the government still prosecutes peaceful speech and protests and has failed to revise old oppressive laws.”

The report was prepared based on interviews and analysis of legal and policy changes since 2016.

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