Statement of PEN Myanmar (5/2019)

Statement of PEN Myanmar (5/2019)

28th of December 2019, Yangon, Myanmar

Award to two youth activists who brilliantly protect freedom of expression

1.Myitkyina police charged against Ko Pawlu and Seng Nu Pan under Article 19 of Peaceful Assembly Law for their street performance on June 10, 2019 marking eighth anniversary of the renewal of armed conflict between Myanmar military and Kachin Independent Army after 17-year of ceasefire.

2. During their performance, Ko Pawlu and Seng Nu Pan expressed hardship of internal displaced persons including foods and shelters for them, and they called for the unimpeded passage of humanitarian access, dignified return of the IDPs and end of war.

3. On September 2, 2019, the Myitkyina Township Court sentenced Ko Pawlu and Seng Nu Pan to pay K30,000 or 15-day imprisonment and the two youth activists chose the prison.

4. The township judge filed another lawsuit against Ko Pawlu at the Myitkyina Township Court under Article 228 of insulting and disresepecting the court after Ko Pawlu giving him a broken scales. On September 6, a judge sentenced Ko Pawlu additional three-month prison term.

5. Under the freedom of expression, every individual has rights to express his or her opinions about others including politics which are issues of public importance. Everyone can express such issues by speech or print or drama performance.

6. By practicing freedom of expression, Ko Pawlu and Seng Nu Pan, youth activists, brilliantly held a drama performance which reflected the consequences of the conflict being faced by Kachin people. PEN Myanmar has awarded to them as individuals who brilliantly protect the freedom of expression for 2019 since thet had stood courageously on their belief by taking risks.

PEN Myanmar Center

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