08/01/2019

Urgent Action Update: Filmmaker Charged, Health Concerns Remain (Myanmar: UA 81.19)


Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, a prominent filmmaker, has been detained since 12 April 2019 and is facing charges in connection with a series of social media posts in which he criticised Myanmar’s military-drafted 2008 Constitution. He has serious health problems and is in urgent need of specialized medical treatment; however, his requests for bail have been denied. If formally charged and convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Union Attorney General, U Tun Tun Oo
Union Attorney General Office No. 25
Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Fax: + 95 67 404106
Email: [email protected] 
Ambassador U Aung Lynn
Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S St. NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 332 3344 I 202 332 4350
Fax: 202 332 4351
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Contact form: https://goo.gl/5eMa54
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Union Attorney General U Tun Tun Oo,

I want to express my concern about the charges against filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, his health concerns in detention, and an increase in politically-motivated charges stifling freedom of expression in Myanmar. Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi has been formally charged for Facebook posts critical of the 2008 military-drafted Constitution and the military’s role in politics. On 18 July, the Insein Township Court formally charged him under Section 505(a) of Myanmar’s Penal Code, which provides up to two years in prison for anyone who makes “statements conducing to public mischief.” He is also accused of “online defamation” under Section 66(d) of the 2013 Telecommunications Act, which remains pending. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. I am concerned about Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi’s health in detention. He has liver cancer and underwent a major operation earlier this year. Finally, I want to express my alarm regarding the recent surge in politically-motivated arrests and detentions in Myanmar, carried out via a range of laws that allow peaceful political activists and human rights defenders to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted. These laws contradict international human rights law and standards and are detrimental to freedom of expression in Myanmar.

I write to urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and drop all charges against him; pending his unconditional release, ensure that he has full and regular access to the specialized medical treatment he requires by granting Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi bail on humanitarian grounds or allowing him to be transferred to a specialized institution or civil hospital; repeal or amend laws that restrict the right to freedom of expression, including Section 505(a) of the Penal Code and 66(d) of the 2013 Telecommunications Act, to bring them into line with international human rights laws and standards.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES