Myanmar Journalists Face Legal Fears, Restrictions on Movement
Officials in Myanmar arrested three reporters late last month after they attended a drug burning ceremony.
The event marked the observance of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The Ta'ang National Liberation Army had held the ceremony in northern Shan State. The army, an ethnic militia, has been officially described as an illegal group.
The three journalists were charged under the Unlawful Associations Act. The military has used this law to cut off support for rebels and to frighten media organizations that operated in exile before the move to democratic rule.
At a press event Thursday, Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi spoke about the journalists. The Nobel Prize winner said their arrests should not be seen as a problem between the media and the military. Instead, she said, the situation should be seen as a question of whether existing laws are just and democratic.
Aung San Suu Kyi said that if existing laws are not helpful to justice and democracy, then the judiciary should try to change them. But, she said, the administration cannot intervene in judicial issues.
"Rule of law means they have to be, first of all, just laws," she said.
The journalists are set to go on trial July 10. Each could get three years in prison if found guilty.
Rights activists say the Unlawful Associations Act is one of many laws used to stop political opposition, especially by ethnic minority groups.
During years of military rule, the government used the act to detain people linked to rebel groups. The law continues to be used to jail those accused of contact with rebel forces in states facing ethnic separatist civil war.
Officially, Myanmar ended press censorship in 2012. But the reality for the media has been quite different.
In 2015, for example, the military warned the media not to broadcast statements made by the rebel Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. Those doing so would "face action under the law," it said.
In 2014, journalist Ko Par Gyi was reporting on clashes in Mon State when he was detained and killed while being held by the military.
The recent arrests come as Myanmar reporters and rights groups urge the government to remove another law often used against journalists: Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act.
Article 66(d) bans the use of telecommunications to insult people. Violators could be fined and receive a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Journalists and rights groups accuse military officers and government officials of using this measure against people who write about them on social media.
Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters on Thursday the national parliament has begun to work on changes to Article 66(d).
I'm Alice Bryant.
1.illicit trafficking 非法贩运
What is the UN doing to fight illicit drug trafficking?
2.national parliament 国民议会
What if a national parliament blocks the treaty change?
3.work on 从事于
To work on this show you've got to have balls.
4.in prison 坐牢
He spent his time in prison praying and studying.
1.During years of military rule, the government used the act to detain people linked to rebel groups.
linked to 与...有关
All of these industries have at one time or another been linked to cancer.
He committed suicide rather than face the shame of being linked to the scandal.
2.The journalists are set to go on trial July 10. Each could get three years in prison if found guilty.
go on trial 出庭；受审
He will go on trial later this month charged with murder
He has been charged with accepting bribes and money-laundering, and he is expected to go on trial this autumn.
德昂民族解放军在掸邦北部举行仪式 。该民族自卫队被政府称为非法团伙 。
依据《非法联合会法》，这3名记者被起诉 。军方利用该法律切断了对叛军的支援，威慑步入民主统治前流亡在外的媒体机构 。
缅甸领导人昂山素季在周四的新闻发布会上提及这3名记者 。这位曾获得诺贝尔奖的领袖表示，记者被捕一事不应被视为媒体与军方的矛盾 。相反，这一情况应该被视为一套现存法律是否公正和民主的问题 。
昂山素季表示，如果现存法律对司法和民主无益，那么司法部门应更而改之 。不过，她指出，政府无权干预司法问题 。
被捕记者将于7月10日受审 。若罪名成立，他们可能会被判处三年监禁 。
多年来，政府在进行军事统治时利用该法拘留与叛乱团伙有关人员 。该法将继续被用来监禁那些在民族分裂内战的背景下与叛军接触的人员 。
2012年，缅甸正式地结束了新闻审查制度 。然而，媒体的真实情况却大相径庭 。
2015年，军方警告媒体不要刊登缅甸民族民主同盟军所作声明 。违者将面临“法律上的制裁” 。
第66（d）条禁止使用通讯手段污蔑他人 。违者将被处以罚款并判处三年以下有期徒刑 。