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B9-0448/2022
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Media freedom crackdown in Myanmar, notably the cases of Htet Htet Khine, Sithu Aung Myint and Nyein Nyein Aye

4.10.2022 - (2022/2857(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Georgios Kyrtsos, Petras Auštrevičius, Malik Azmani, Nicola Beer, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Svenja Hahn, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Karen Melchior, Urmas Paet, Dragoş Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0431/2022

Proċedura : 2022/2857(RSP)
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B9‑0448/2022

European Parliament resolution on the Media freedom crackdown in Myanmar, notably the cases of Htet Htet Khine, Sithu Aung Myint and Nyein Nyein Aye

 

(2022/2857(RSP))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar, namely its resolutions of 7 July 2016, 15 December 2016, and 14 September 2017 on Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas, of 14 June 2018 on the situation of Rohingya refugees, in particular the plight of children, of 13 September 2018 on Myanmar, notably the case of journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, of 19 September 2019 on Myanmar, notably the situation of the Rohingya, of 11 February 2021 on the situation in Myanmar, of 7 October 2021 on the human rights situation in Myanmar, including the situation of religious and ethnic groups and of 10 March 2022 on Myanmar one year after the coup;

 

  having regard of Section 505(a) of the Myanmar penal code;

 

  having regard to the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human rights which provides the right of Freedom of Expression and Information,

 

  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression;

 

  having regard to the Articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966 on freedom of opinion and expression;,

 

  having regard to Rule 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

  1. whereas on 1 February 2021, the military of Myanmar, known as the Tatmadaw, in a clear violation of the constitution of Myanmar and of the electoral results of November 2020, arrested President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and leading members of the government, seized power over the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government by means of a coup d’état, and declared a one-year state of emergency; whereas in August 2021, the commander-in-chief of the military junta, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that he was appointing himself Prime Minister and that the state of emergency would be extended until August 2023; whereas only Win Myint, as the President of Myanmar, was authorised under the constitution to enact a state of emergency;

 

  1. whereas since the 2021 coup, the junta has banned more than 12 media outlets for reporting on the actions of the military; whereas many of the banned media outlets played a fundamental role in reporting of the situation in Myanmar; whereas the people of Myanmar and those abroad strongly rely on these media;

 

  1. whereas a wave of arrests of journalists followed the February 2021 coup; whereas over 65 media workers are currently held in Myanmar’s prisons; whereas Myanmar has become the world’s second biggest jailer of journalists;

 

  1. whereas several journalists and media workers have been tortured and murdered since the 2021 coup; whereas four journalists have been killed over the last 19 months, two of them as a result of abusive treatment while in custody, including the photographer Aye Kyaw;

 

  1. Whereas journalists Htet Htet Khine and Sithu Aung Myint were arrested in August 2021, six months after the coup;

 

  1. whereas on 27 September 2022, freelance BBC Media reporter, Htet Htet Khine was sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour; whereas Htet Htet Khine already received her first three-year sentence with hard labour on September 15 2022 for allegedly violating Section 505(a) of the penal code, which criminalizes incitement and dissemination of false news;

  

  1. whereas Sithu Aung Myint, a columnist for Frontier Myanmar and a commentator for Voice of America, remains in pre-trial detention on charges of spreading false news and sedition;

 

  1. whereas on 14 July 2022, Nyein Nyein Aye, a freelancer also known by the pseudonym of Mabel, was sentenced by a court inside Yangon’s Insein prison; whereas Nyein Nyein Aye was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “causing fear, spreading false news and agitating crimes against goverment employee” under Section 505 (a) of the penal code; whereas Nyein Nyein Aye is the 24th journalist to receive a prison sentence since the coup in 2021;

 

  1. whereas in July 2022, Aung San Lin a journalist for the Democratic Voice of Burma was sentenced by court to six years in prison with hard labour for incitement and the dissemination of “false news” after publishing a report alleging that military forces committed arson attacks on the homes of three supporters of the coup-toppled National League for Democracy in Wetlet Township;

 

  1. whereas the junta in Myanmar has a long track record of gross violations of human rights; whereas many reports of torture have been made in the Myanmar prisons and during interrogations;

 

 

  1. Insists on the immediate release of all journalist and other members of the media who have been arrested, detained or convicted under false pretence; Explicitly calls for the release of Htet Htet Khine, Sithu Aung Myint and Nyein Nyein Aye; 

 

  1. Calls on the authorities of Myanmar to stop political persecution, notably against journalists and other media workers;

 

  1. Is appalled by the gross violation of human rights in Myanmar, in particular  by the systematic and continuous crackdown on press freedom and freedom of expression, censorship and disinformation campaigns;

 

  1. Urges the authorities to respect the freedom of expression and information;

 

  1. Insists that all prisoners have full access to legal representation;

 

  1. Strongly condemns, once again, the coup d’état of 1 February 2021, executed by the Tatmadaw under the leadership of commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, and the ensuing heinous atrocities, mass killings and widespread human rights violations against the population of Myanmar;

 

  1. Calls on the Tatmadaw to fully respect the outcome of the democratic elections of November 2020, reinstate the civilian government and end the state of emergency; supports the CRPH, the NUG and the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) as the only legitimate representatives of the democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar;

 

  1. Calls on the European Commission and the Member States to continue supporting the work of the human rights defenders in Myanmar; encourages representatives of the EU Delegation and the EU Member States in Myanmar to attend, when access is permitted, the trials of journalists, media workers, bloggers and human rights defenders in the country;

 

  1. Calls for the European Commission and the Member States and the international community to urgently meet their financial obligations under the 2021 UN Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan;

 

  1. Calls on the European Commission to launch the withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme, with a view to suspending the trade preferences that benefit Myanmar in specific sectors, particularly companies belonging to members of Myanmar’s military, and to keep Parliament duly informed of the steps to take;

 

  1. Welcomes the sanctions imposed by the Council against members of the Tatmadaw and their businesses; Calls on the HR/VP, the Member States and the European Commission to introduce additional targeted sanctions to those responsible for the most serious human rights violations in the country;  Calls on the European Commission to consider all necessary sanctions against the Myanmar regime;

 

  1. Urges the EU and its member states to increase pressure on the UN Security Council to negotiate a strong draft resolution instituting a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar;

 

  1. Is appalled by the tortures and deaths of journalists and media workers in custody; calls for international investigation into these accounts;

 

  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the legitimate President and National Unity Government of Myanmar, the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, the Tatmadaw, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Council, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Member States of ASEAN, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

 

Aġġornata l-aħħar: 4 ta' Ottubru 2022
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