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The Revolution Will Not Be Broadcast – Myanmar: IFJ Situation Report 2022

December 12th, 2022  •  Author:   International Federation of Journalists  •  5 minute read
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A new report released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the international community to increase pressure on Myanmar’s military junta to guarantee the safety of all Burmese citizens and call for a return to democracy in the war-torn country. Launched on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the IFJ condemns the military junta’s gross violations of human rights in Myanmar, the ongoing persecution of journalists and attacks on independent media.

‘The Revolution Will Not Be Broadcast – Myanmar: IFJ Situation Report 2022’ brings together the lived experiences of Burmese journalists and media workers living under the junta and in exile and highlights the gross human rights violations wrought against Myanmar civilians.

The report highlights inadequate global action to reject the junta and restrict the suppression and brutal campaign of aggression against Myanmar’s citizens. Critically, the report recommendations call on ASEAN for a stronger response to the junta ahead of the ASEAN summit on November 10-13, given the failures of the block’s five-point consensus on Myanmar. To date, the military continues to show flagrant disregard to regional and international efforts to cease the arbitrary violence, killing and intimidation against its own people.

As of the report’s release, 59 journalists and media workers remain incarcerated by the junta in Myanmar. At least 2,371 people have been killed by the military, including four media workers since February 2021. Today, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists’ (CPJ) 2022 Global Impunity Index listed Myanmar as the eight worst country worldwide for impunity, it’s first year ever being placed on the index.

The IFJ highlighted the important national and regional actions of IFJ affiliates and civil society. In Indonesia, the Aliansi Jurnalis Independ (AJI) Indonesia and other pro-democracy activists filed a petition to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia to allow Indonesian courts to prosecute human rights violation cases from Myanmar through the Indonesian legal system. In Timor-Leste, the Conselho de Imprensa (Press Council) of Timor-Leste (CITL) expressed serious concerns at the misleading representation of the situation of press freedom in Myanmar  at the Dili Dialogue Forum by a representative of the Myanmar Press Council.

The IFJ said that governments must work urgently to coordinate on action to hold the junta to account. The report also underlines that journalists, media organisations and civil society members also have a significant role in drawing attention to the atrocities committed in Myanmar and combatting misinformation.

The IFJ is continuing to dedicate support to Burmese journalists since the coup in February 2021, working in solidarity with media workers amid immeasurable challenges and in the face of ongoing persecution. In 2022, the IFJ’s program of support, funded by Norsk Journalistlag, is assisting media workers to combat wage theft, strengthen networks both in Myanmar and in exile, and provide support to journalists currently detained.

Key findings and recommendations in the report:

  • The international community must do all it can to resolve the crisis and hold perpetrators of gross violations of international human rights law accountable for the heinous crimes against the people of Myanmar, including the use of laws to sanction violators of international human rights outside the country.
  • The international community must do more to guarantee the Safety of Journalists and Human Rights in Myanmar and to reject the military junta in every possible forum and event where such participation on serves to give a voice to a regime that is slaughtering, torturing and jailing its citizens.
  • A lifeline of support should be provided for journalists and media workers endeavouring to continue to report while living under the coup, as well as those continuing to tell the story of Myanmar’s people from its borders and beyond.
  • The military junta must cease its restrictions on internet access, including surveillance, censorship, and shutdowns, and protect the people of Myanmar’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression, access to information and privacy, as guaranteed under international human rights law.
  • ASEAN must take urgent and serious steps to act on its pledges to press the junta to end its continued human rights and freedom of expression violations. ASEAN must set clear demands and a deadline for the release of political prisoners and an end to the attacks on civilians or face clear penalties should it fail to meet them.
  • Journalists, media organisations and civil society members have a significant role to play in drawing the attention of local governments to the atrocities committed in Myanmar, combatting misinformation and encouraging further sanctioning of the military regime.
  • Governments bordering Myanmar must immediately stop the return of asylum seekers or refugees in the region back to the country and create specific provisions for journalists and media workers forced into exile for simply doing their jobs. The global community must also take note to seriously increase humanitarian intake of Burmese refugees.

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