(MYANMAR) #FreeSpeech Under Attack Daily as #Myanmar Independent Journalists Reporting Atrocities are being harassed and their sources are being jailed for providing the #Truth as the judicial system stands back and lets unscrupulous lawyers jail journalists for providing information in conflict zones or on social media #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Sept.12: Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose Office (OHCHR) issued the report Tuesday, underscored that the findings show the severity of dangers independent journalists face in #Myanmar “Where journalists are jailed for merely visiting an area controlled by an armed group, when their sources are jailed for providing information from conflict zones, and where a Facebook post can result in criminal defamation accusations – such an environment is hardly conducive to a democratic transition,” she said #AceNewsDesk reports

According to the report, The Invisible Boundary: Criminal prosecutions of journalism in Myanmar, laws relating to telecommunications, official secrets, unlawful associations, electronic transactions and even obscure laws relating to imports and aircraft, have been used to try and prosecute journalists in recent years.

In one case, three journalists were arrested in June 2017 for covering an event to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in an area under the control of an armed group in northern Shan state. They were charged under the Unlawful Associations Act. The case was dropped, but not before they had spent 67 days in detention.

Together, the cases outline to journalists a clear choice between self-censorship and the risk of prosecution […] Given the importance of journalism for the public’s right to information, the restrictions imposed on media personnel have a broader implication in society – OHCHR report

In another case, two Christian Baptists from Kachin state, were arrested in December 2016 under the same law, for assisting journalists who had travelled to northern Shan state to report on the conflict there. They were held incommunicado for several weeks and eventually received prison sentences of two years and three months having also been charged under an Import-Export statute, relating to their alleged use of unlicensed motorbikes, the report states.

Other cases involved the invocation of the same Law against journalists for using a drone to film the national parliament building and a Telecommunications statute was used to target a journalist for posts on the social media site, Facebook.

The report also refers to “the instrumentalization of the law and of the courts by the Government and military in what constitutes a political campaign against independent journalism,” and the “failure of the judiciary to uphold the fair trial rights of those targeted.”

In conclusion, the report also sets out a series of recommendations, including a review of all legal provisions impacting the right to freedom of expression with a view to repealing or amending those that do not comply with international human rights law.

It also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the two Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo (also known as Moe Aung) and Thet Oo Maung (also known as Wa Lone), as well as all other journalists currently in detention for the “legitimate and peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression”.

The two Reuters journalists were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment under the Official Secrets Act in connection with their coverage of a massacre, by the military, of men from the minority Muslim Rohingya community in the Inn Dinn village, Rakhine state.

#Myanmar: New UN human rights report finds that “vague and over-broad” laws have made it impossible for journalists to do their job without fear or favour https://t.co/a9mTa3fgNG Published: September 11, 2018 at 09:06AM

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: ‘ Police arrest 93 people in one year for offenses ‘

#AceNewsReport – Featured Update:June.08: Myanmar police have arrested 93 people for human trafficking offenses this year, AFP said.

However, no cases have been uncovered in Rakhine state where the persecuted Rohingya people have fled in droves. Most Myanmar victims were sold into forced marriages in China and forced labor in Thailand, local media reported, citing police.

The majority of cases were uncovered in eastern Shan state, which borders Thailand, Laos and China, followed by Mandalay and Yangon, the two largest cities.

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MYANMAR: ' Blessed Little Children Come Unto Me A Heart-Wrenching Story of Starvation '

#AceWorldNews – OHN TAW GYI CAMP – Myanmar – August 08 – Born just over a year ago, Dosmeda Bibi has spent her entire short life confined to a camp for one of the world’s most persecuted religious minorities Associated Press reporter Esther Htusan.


​And like a growing number of other Muslim Rohingya children who are going hungry, she’s showing the first signs of severe malnutrition.

Her stomach is bloated and her skin clings tightly to the bones of her tiny arms and legs.

While others her age are sitting or standing, the baby girl cannot flip from her back to her stomach without a gentle nudge from her mom.

"I’m scared she won’t live much longer," whispers Hameda Begum as she gazes into her daughter’s dark, sunken eyes. "We barely have any food. On some days I can only scrape together a few bites of rice for her to eat."

Myanmar’s child malnutrition rate was already among the region’s highest, but it’s an increasingly familiar sight in the country’s westernmost state of Rakhine, which is home to almost all of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims.

BY ESTHER HTUSAN @ ASSOCIATED PRESS

#ANS2014

#starving, #children, #malnutrition, #myanmar

` Earthquake Strikes Thailand’s Myanmar Smashing Buildings and Cracking Roads One Person Died ‘

#AceNewsServices – BANGKOK – May 06 – A strong earthquake shook northern Thailand and Myanmar on Monday evening, smashing windows, cracking walls and roads and damaging Buddhist temples.

One person is known to have died at time of publishing this article.

The airport in Chiang Rai, a northern Thai city near the epicentre of the 6.3-magnitude trembled and people were evacuated from its terminal, where display signs and pieces of the ceiling fell. There was no damage to the runway or flight disruptions, airport General Manager Damrong Klongakara said.

A well-known temple in the city, the all-white Wat Rongkhun, was closed due to safety concerns after the earthquake.

“The spire of the main building came off and the tiles on the roof fell off,” Chalermchai Kositpiphat, the artist who designed the temple, told Nation TV. “I still don’t know how we can sleep tonight. … It was shaking the whole time and then aftershocks followed four to five times. It will bring more damages each time an aftershock happens, I’m afraid.

“The murals are also damaged because the pillars were shaken badly,” Chalermchai said. “I don’t know how many years it will take me to fix it. … It was tumbling like the earth was going to explode.”

The head of a Buddha statue fell at the Udomwaree Temple in Chiang Rai, according to monk Phra Pathompong. A residential building at the temple also had exterior cracks and ceiling damage, and residents reported only minor damage in their homes, he said.

#ANS2014

#aceworldnews, #bangkok, #myanmar, #thailand

` Thailand Authorities Charge Two journalists with `Defaming Navy ‘ in News Report about Trafficking Refugees ‘

#AceNewsServices – BANGKOK – April 17 – (ALJ) – Thailand authorities have charged two journalists with defaming the country’s navy in an on-line news report about the trafficking of refugees from Myanmar, amid concerns about press freedom.

The English-language news website Phuketwan posted a story last July carrying excerpts from a report by the Reuters news agency alleging that members of the Thai military were involved in trafficking captured immigrants from Myanmar’s beleaguered Rohingya ethnic minority.

The charges against Alan Morison, the website’s Australian editor, and his Thai colleague, Chutima Sidasathien, came several days after Reuters won a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for its series on the violent persecution of the Rohingya.

Rights groups say the Muslim minority that has been subjected to systematic abuse and forced segregation.

The journalists appeared in court on the southern island of Phuket to hear charges of defamation and violation of the 2007 Computer Crime Act. If found guilty, they could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of $3,010.

“To us, it’s still very much a case that shouldn’t be going to court, and sadly it’s going to damage Thailand’s reputation as a democracy because these kinds of cases shouldn’t occur in any democracy,” Morison told the AP news agency.

#ANS2014

#bangkok, #myanmar, #thailand

` Myanmar Newspapers Printed Black Pages in Protest against Jailing of Journalist Pursuing a Story on Education '

#AceNewsServices – BURMA – April 14 – (RFA) – Several newspapers in Myanmar printed black front pages on Friday in protest against the jailing of a journalist pursuing a story on education, saying such imprisonments trampled on their right to report the news.

Many of the blacked-out page-ones included a protest message against the sentencing of Zaw Pe, a 40-year-old video journalist for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) who was handed a one-year jail term on Monday.

He was convicted by the Magwe township court of “trespassing” and “disturbing a public servant” while trying to interview an education official, prompting an outcry from international rights groups.

The popular Daily Eleven newspaper and its weekly publication sported black covers on Friday, while Mizzima printed a black column down the side of the front page and DVB replaced its Facebook cover photo with an all-black image.

Other publications printed black panels on their covers on Wednesday or Thursday.

Zayar Hlaing, editor of Maw Kun magazine (The Chronicle) which also took part in the campaign, said various news outlets were joining together in their “black page” protest because Zaw Pe’s case had threatened their own reporters’ freedom to carry out their work.

#ANS2014

#democratic-voice-of-burma-dvb, #myanmar

`Myanmar tells `Doctors Without Borders’ to leave `Violence-Wracked’ Rakhine State’

#AceWorldNews says Myanmar’s government wants the international aid group Doctors Without Borders to leave Rakhine state, which is torn by sectarian violence.

The move is linked to the agency’s work with the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, AP reported.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said that the group’s contract in Rakhine state would not be extended.

He was quoted as saying that the aid group had hired “Bengalis,” the term the government uses for Rohingya.

The agency also lacked transparency in its work, the spokesman said.

#ANS2014

#ap, #doctors-without-borders, #myanmar, #rakhine, #rohingya-muslims

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Head of the South Korean working-level delegation Kim speaks with his North Korean counterpart Park during their talks at the Kaesong Industrial District Management CommitteeNorth & South Korea to hold new round of talks Friday

Seoul has said senior officials from the rival Koreas will meet for a second time this week on Friday, AP reported. Their first round of talks Wednesday ended with little progress. A key sticking point in talks was North Korea‘s demand that Seoul delay the start of annual military drills with the US until the reunions end between families divided by the Korean War.

Police officer Chaudhry AslamAt least 11 police killed in Karachi car bomb attack

Eleven Pakistani policemen were killed Thursday when a suicide car bomber struck their bus in the commercial hub of Karachi, AFP reported. An explosive-laden car reportedly hit the police bus transporting officials, also wounding 47 people. The attack came as Pakistan has negotiated with the Taliban to end a seven-year insurgency.

Old coin of Arakan, today Rakhine, Myanmar. Mi...

Old coin of Arakan, today Rakhine, Myanmar. Minted by Shams al-din Muhammad Ghazi, sultan of Bengal. Dated AH962 (= 1554/5 AD). Obverse: kalima within square. Reverse: (above and right:) Shams al-Dunya wa al-Din abu al-Muzaffar (within square:) Muhammad Shah Ghazi khalled Allah mulkahu wa sultanat (below:) sanah 962 (left:) zarb Arakan (with low “a”). More or less similar to this coin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thailand deports 1,300 Rohingya people to Myanmar

Thai authorities said Thursday they deported about 1,300 of Rohingya boat people back to Myanmar late last year, despite protests from human rights groups. The deportations took place in waves from September through November. The asylum seekers were held in detention centers and shelters across the country, police said, adding that deportations were “voluntary.” Muslim Rohingyas face widespread discrimination in Myanmar, the AP said, where sectarian violence over the last two years has left hundreds dead and more than 140,000 displaced from their homes.

English: Image is similar, if not identical, t...

English: Image is similar, if not identical, to the Missouri Department of Corrections patch. Made with Photoshop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oklahoma pharmacy blocked from selling drug to Missouri for execution

A US federal judge has temporarily blocked an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy providing a drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections, AP reported. The judge issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday night in a federal lawsuit filed by Missouri death row inmate Michael Taylor. The Department of Corrections contracts with The Apothecary Shoppe, to provide the drug set to be used in his lethal injection on February 26, according to Taylor’s attorneys. Their lawsuit says recent executions involving the drug, compounded pentobarbital, indicate it will likely cause severe and “ultimately inhumane pain.” The state has not confirmed the pharmacy is the source for the drug, and it was not clear whether the ruling could delay the execution.

Great Seal Bug from NSA archives

Great Seal Bug from NSA archives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Employee who allowed Snowden to use his NSA log-in resigns

A civilian National Security Agency employee recently resigned for allowing former contractor Edward Snowden to use his personal log-in credentials to access classified information, NBC News reports, citing an agency memo. Also, an active duty member of the US military and a contractor have been barred from accessing NSA facilities after they were “implicated” in actions that may have aided Snowden, according to the memo. Their status is now being reviewed.

Afghanistan Priosoners Released65 accused Afghan militants freed from former US prison – official

The Afghan government has freed 65 accused militants from a former US prison, officials in Kabul say. Prison spokesman Maj. Nimatullah Khaki said all 65 were freed from the Parwan Detention Facility on Thursday morning, AP reported. Washington earlier called the men “dangerous” fighters who will likely return to the battlefield. President Hamid Karzai ordered their release several weeks ago, drawing angry denunciations from the US.

Sochi BannerRussian ambassador to Denmark outraged by media coverage of Sochi Olympics

The Russian ambassador to Denmark has sent letters to a number of Danish publications accusing them of insulting coverage of the Sochi Olympic Games. Mikhail Vanin was indignant at the coverage by the Danish press, assuming that Danish reporters didn’t have enough spectacles of “bears in caps with the red stars, drinking vodka from a samovar,” at the opening ceremony. “The freedom of speech assumes a measure of professionalism and responsibility for unbiased coverage of what the journalists write about,” the letter states. Vanin also recalled that the Olympics give the host country the opportunity to show the world their culture and to demonstrate their hospitality.

 

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#AceNewsDesk – “World News – 24 January 2014 – Headlines”

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ROME – AFGHANISTAN –  CHINA – BEIJING – UN – ETHIOPIA – SOUTH SUDAN – MUSLIMS – CAIRO – KOREA – US 

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Home-made bomb explodes near French church in Rome

A small home-made bomb exploded in a street in central Rome early on Thursday, Reuters said. The bomb caused slight damage to a building belonging to a French religious establishment and three parked cars. The explosion occurred ahead of a visit to Pope Francis by President Francois  Hollande.

Gunman kills 5 Afghan cricket players

A gunman on a motorcycle opened fire at a group of local cricket players, killing five of them during a game in eastern Laghman province, AP reported. The attacker fled the scene in Alinghar district, a provincial spokesman, Sarhadii Zhouak, said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack that took place on Thursday. Also, police in southern Helmand province found the body of slain journalist Noor Ahmad Noori late on Thursday night.

China issues warnings to foreign military planes over defence zone

Beijing has begun issuing warnings to foreign military planes entering its self-declared air defense zone over the East China Sea, AP reported. Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said that multiple types of Chinese planes recently conducted a long-range patrol inside the sweeping zone that was declared in November. The Chinese planes flew alongside a number of foreign military aircraft and issued warnings to them. The spokesman did not identify the planes or say when the patrol was conducted. The US, Japan and other countries earlier denounced the zone’s declaration as provocative.

UN urges Myanmar to probe killings of Rohingya Muslims

 The UN has called on Myanmar to investigate reports that dozens of people were killed in attacks on Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state. It said “credible information” was received of a series of attacks in a remote area of Rakhine earlier this month. The western state of Rakhine remains tense after outbreaks of inter-communal violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities since 2012.

South Sudan ceasefire signed in Ethiopia

South Sudan’s government and rebels have signed a ceasefire agreement, considered to be the first step to reconciliation between the two sides, following violence that erupted in mid-December and is thought to be a result of strained relations between President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, whom Kiir sacked in July 2013. The conflict had since taken on an ethnic dimension. The deal was reached on Thursday in Ethiopia and was greeted by mediators and regional leaders alike. It is expected to come into effect 24 hours after being signed.

Blast reported in Cairo

 A large blast was heard in Cairo on Friday, eyewitnesses report. Smoke was seen rising over the city center. State TV said the blast happened near police headquarters, indicating that it may have been an attack.

N. Korea practiced attack on Seoul’s Incheon airport – report

The North Korean military secretly carried out a practice exercise simulating an attack on a South Korea’s largest airport, using specially designed jets that are meant to enter Southern airspace. A South Korean government source told JoongAng Ilbo that the nighttime exercises came on January 19, one day before North Korean state media reported that Kim Jong-un attended a military drill without expanding on any details. The North Koreans are suspected of practicing entering South Korea by parachute, staging a terrorist attack at the Incheon International Airport, and then occupying planes sitting on the runway. The South Korean official added that such an event is “extremely rare.”

Virginia attorney general will oppose state’s gay marriage ban

 Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Thursday that he will no longer defend the state’s gay marriage ban, saying he will join a lawsuit that seeks to have the prohibition declared unconstitutional. Herring, a Democrat, said he has voted against marriage equality in the past but told NPR that his views have changed because he saw that he “hurt a lot of people and it was very painful for a lot of people” when he previously voted in favor of the ban. Herring admitted that the ban was put in place by Virginia voters but said that as attorney general, he “cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians  `rights’ 

 

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UN Human Rights: “Says they Hope that the Abolition of the Death Penalty will Follow their Decision to Commute All Death Sentences to Life-Imprisionment”

#AceWorldNews says “United Nations Human Rights Office” today said it hopes that Myanmar’s decision to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment will lead to the full abolition of the death penalty in the country.

President Thein Sein announced on 2 January that he would commute death sentences to life imprisonment and reduce some sentences on humanitarian grounds and to mark the 66th anniversary of independence of the country, marked on 4 January.

“We warmly welcome the Myanmar Government’s Presidential Order,” the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told journalists in Geneva.

The move is “very significant” for Myanmar, which has not carried out the death penalty since 1989, the spokesperson noted, as the country assumed the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The step “sets a positive example for other ASEAN member states and other States in the region and beyond,” Mr. Colville said on behalf of the Office for the High Commissioners of Human Rights (OHCHR).

#asean, #myanmar, #office-of-the-united-nations-high-commissioner-for-human-rights, #ohchr