Within the timespan of a week, three decisions by the government and the court restrict civil society, press freedom, and democracy severely in Myanmar.
On Tuesday, the military-controlled Home Affairs Ministry decided to ban peaceful protests in several downtown areas of Yangon to prevent traffic jams, but civil rights groups have questioned the decision.
Then on Wednesday, the government approved a new law monitoring Internet use by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications claiming to curb hate speech and misinformation on social media. Important here is to note that the government has repeatedly called coverage about Rohingya Muslims “misinformation“.
Also, “Military representative to the Lower House Maj Ne Win proposed registering SIM cards and Facebook users as additional measures to tackle hate speech. He called for legal action against those who intentionally spread false news on social media“.
And finally, on Friday, the court sentenced two foreign journalists, a local journalist, and their driver to two months in prison for filming with a drone for which they previously received permission. The two foreign journalists pleaded guilty to one charge hoping to get a fine; instead, all four were sentenced to imprisonment according to Reuters.