Jailing of new prisoners of conscience casts doubt on reform

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The jailing of new prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, including journalists and media workers, is a stark reminder of how far the country still has to come in improving respect for human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. The organization is calling on Myanmar to release all prisoners of conscience – those who are detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and other human rights.

The continuation of the practice of arresting and detaining human rights defenders and peaceful activists – a hallmark of the country’s previous military government – raises serious questions about the current government’s commitment to human rights reforms.

Among Myanmar’s new prisoners of conscience are journalists and other media workers – at least six are detained currently, with many others at risk of harassment, arrest and imprisonment solely for carrying out their legitimate work and peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.