Monywa residents oppose notorious Section 66(D)

Kaung Khant Lin (Monywa)

More than 100 people, including journalists, staged a protest march in cooperation with civil organizations calling for the amendment of the controversial Section 66(D) of the Telecommunications Law in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region, yesterday.

The protest was held with the permission of the Monywa Township police station.

Kyaw Kyaw Win, the CEO of the Monywa Gazette, said: “A person can be sued under Section 500 for defamation. Section 66(D) does not allow bail to be granted. From my standpoint, Section 66(D) is unfair. It should be amended, even if it cannot be abolished. Bail should be granted for cases filed under Section 66(D).”

Soe Win Swe, a protest leader, said: “The number of lawsuits filed under Section 66(D) has risem to 68 since the new government came to power. People can use this section as a tool to send online users to jail at any time. This section causes a threat to the freedom of citizens enshrined in section 354(A) of the Constitution. It also restricts Article 19 of the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights, which guarantees the the right to freedom of opinion and expression. There is widespread criticism of this section.”

Protestors chanted five slogans at the protest: “Amend section 66 (d)”; “We don’t want a law that oppresses the people”; “Abolish section 66 (d)”; “[We have] rights to freedom of opinion and expression” and “Stop the oppression of media”.