cover image: Myanmar: Note on  - Amendments to the  - Printing and Publishing


Myanmar: Note on - Amendments to the - Printing and Publishing

21 Jul 2023

The 2023 amendment to section 9 instead authorises the Ministry of Information to publish a notification in the State Gazette that a publication is invalid due to breach of section 8, while section 10 has been amended to provide that, as soon as the Ministry of Information has published such a notification, police officers may confiscate the publication under the Law of Criminal Procedure. [...] These additional powers allocated to the Minister are exacerbated by the 2023 amendments to sections 9 and 10 of the PPEL, which have eliminated the role of the judiciary (and self-administered division or zones) in determining whether a publication should be declared invalid for breach of section 8 and instead vesting this power in the Ministry of Information. [...] Thus, the Minster now has both the power to suspend/revoke the certificate of recognition of and to authorise the police to seize a publication for breach of section 8. [...] “can harm”) and fails to require a sufficiently close nexus between the expression and the risk of harm to a legitimate national security interest.7 Conclusion The March 2023 amendments to the PPEL represent a step backwards as far as freedom of expression and the rule of law are concerned. [...] By further concentrating control over regulatory processes for news agencies, printers and publishers in the Ministry of Information, the amendments have eliminated the already inadequate protections against abuses of these processes and left decisions with potentially significant ramifications from the standpoint of freedom of expression to the discretion of the executive.


Richard Du

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