Proceedings of ‏The 2nd International Conference on Social Sciences in the 21st Century

Year: 2020

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 Hate Speech in Myanmar

Dr. Ei Thandar Swe

ABSTRACT: 

In Myanmar, a draft law for protection against “hate speech” was discussed in various inter-religious groups of the society with an intention to try those who incite hatred and violence in public speeches and on the web, or promote defamation. The objective of this paper is to make suggestions in the upcoming law for protection against “hate speech” in Myanmar and to analyze Myanmar initiatives against hate speech compared with international human rights standards. Qualitative approach research methods such as legal and case law analysis are also applied in this paper. There have been various forms of hate speech that took place in Myanmar, which resulted in communal violence erupted in Rakhine State. The Myanmar government should undertake measures to build mutual understanding and dialogue between groups. This requires prominent individuals to speak out against hatred and violence. In the bill, the definition of “hate speech” should be clear and more precisely expressed. In addition, it requires providing exactly whether hate speech has occurred and how to limit the law against hate speech or free speech. It also has vague terms on what kinds of expression are not allowed, which can be easily abused. It criminalizes misusing religion for political purposes which are not allowed under international standards.

Keywords: Expression, Free Speech, Hate Speech, Hatred and Violence .

Dr. Ei Thandar Swe

Associate Professor
Department of Law
Yangon University of Distance Education
Yangon, Myanmar

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