In-Docs would like to call international documentary film communities to take an immediate action to support our fellow filmmakers in Myanmar in current situation.
The situation in Myanmar is currently escalating to a more concerning level after the last standing independent newspaper in the country was shut down last week because they refused to follow a newly established order from the military’s regime’s Ministry of Information. The operating government urged the media to “practice ethics” and use an appropriate term other than “junta” when referring to them, threatening to arrest the journalists and shutting down the media’s operation for violating this rule.
Joining the citizens, Myanmar’s artist community have joined streams of protesters against the coup d’etat since February, but unfortunately was responded with violent attacks by the military junta. While the past violence could be covered by the local media, we might not know what will happen to the people of Myanmar after this, because Freedom of Expression has been denied in the country.
With no guarantee on Freedom of Expression, human rights in Myanmar is put under a serious threat. Freedom of Expression protects people’s rights to exchange ideas and information, allowing them to communicate freely without fear. Freedom of Expression is the tool to safeguard democracy that can hold the government accountable for any attempt of power abuse.
Denying the right to Freedom of Expression means shielding information of possible serious human right violations in the country and normalizing human suffering, which is contradicted to the Article 19 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ICCPR, and the Article 23 of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration that have been ratified by Myanmar. By violently attacking protesters, including the artist community, the military junta shows no intention to protect their citizens lives and rights.
In-Docs stands in solidarity with the documentary community in Myanmar and wish them the best courage to win back democracy and freedom.