BNI English

Thursday, Apr 17th

Last update07:33:10 PM GMT

You are here: Home
Shan village signpost demolished by unknown assailants

Shan village signpost demolished by unknown assailants

A Shan village signpost in Nawng Khio, northern Shan State, was demolished by un...

National park designated in NDAK territory

National park designated in NDAK territory

Fauna & Flora International (FFI), a British environmental organization, has...

Some Mon households not counted for census

Some Mon households not counted for census

Aye Mi Aung – As Burma’s first census in decades ends tomorrow, some households ...

Workshop aimed at developing ethics

Burmese journalists recently met for an ethic workshop in Mon State capital Moul...

More armed Rakhines arrested in Buthidaung

Dozens of Rakhine, allegedly from Bangladesh, were arrested by the army after be...

Conflicts of interests hampering work of ‘land grab’ committee, say MPs

Members of the Union parliament have alleged that the work of a committee appoin...

Activists use street theatre to condemn hate speech

Myanmar activists opposed to hate speech took their campaign to upper Myanmar on...

UNFPA under fire over census role

UNFPA under fire over census role

The United Nations Population Fund has come under criticism from human rights gr...

Fresh troops sent to Maungdaw

Since the countrywide census started nearly ten days ago more army battalions ha...

A chance to grow

Border school nurtures future Karen leaders

Proud family members bearing flowers,...

Bago Chief Minister issues warning on media to USDP youth members

Bago Chief Minister issues warning on media to USDP youth members

The Chief Minister of Bago Region, U Nyan Win, has urged youth members of the ru...

Disagreements delay talks on national ceasefire agreement

Disagreements delay talks on national ceasefire agreement

Negotiations between the government and armed ethnic groups over a draft nationa...

SEAPA Alert: Long prison terms under Electronic Law intimidate Internet users in Burma

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) is building a 57 kilometer road between Taung-bauk and Thanmyar Seik Kan villages in Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen State, say local sources and party officials. The road, which began construction in October ...

Internet users in Burma claimed they are intimidated from surfing the Web as a result of the long prison terms given to those charged under the Electronic Law.

This came in the heels of the long jail sentences meted out to dissidents recently. Blogger Nay Phone Latt, comedian Zarganar and sports columnist Zaw Thet Htwe, were each given up to 45 years' imprisonment for alleged violation of the Electronic Law.

However, Zarganar was sentenced to an additional 14 years' imprisonment after four more cases against him had been heard in the notorious Insein prison's court on November 27. The initial sentence of 45 years' imprisonment was meted out six days before.

Sports writer Zaw Htet Htwe, who had been arrested for helping victims of cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy delta, was sentenced to four more years in prison, with his jail term now totalling 19 years.

"I feel very much upset. Now we have to delete everything after sending our emails and files. They [the regime] should not punish the people just for using the Internet. They themselves are using the Internet also," a blogger from Burma said on condition of anonymity.

Famous comedian Zarganar still found the courage to crack a joke at the trial court during his sentencing.

"I am sentenced to 45 years' imprisonment for three 'I' charges: I was sent to Insein prison for using the Internet to study IT," his sister-in-law Ma Nyein said.

An editor of a weekly journal said he and his colleagues are now treading dangerous ground, as the Internet is a critical tool for their daily work.

"[Surfing the Web] has become dangerous. Media personnel have to visit all online news websites. Of course, it depends on which sites you are visiting. If the sites are legally approved [by the junta], there will be no problem," he said, adding that they visit only approved websites.

The Electronic Law has become one of the principal instruments used by the military regime to quell the opposition. The law, which addresses the dissemination of news that allegedly tarnish the image of the authorities, provides for long prison terms.

However, San Moe Wei, secretary-general of the Thailand-based Burma Media Association (BMA) said that most of the people given long prison terms under this law were framed by authorities. This law, he said, is being abused to intimidate Internet users.

"This is a repressive law designed to suppress and intimidate dissidents, journalists and political activists who wish to see political change," he said.

Yet, he said there are still individuals who will defy the repressive law and its harsh prison terms.

"Whatever they do to intimidate us, we will continue with our work; work that should be done," a blogger from Burma said.

Three farmers from Natmauk Township in Magwe Division were charged under the Electronic Law in October of this year for lodging a complaint with the International Labor Organisation regarding the seizure of their farmlands.


Multi-ethnic festival coming to Hakha

Mizo Student Union (MSU) a civil society group working for unity among tribes in the area announced ...

Parama’s Dream

Parama’s Dream

Sometimes when relatives or friends come to visit the children that live at Baanunurak Orphanage (al...