Prominent Filmmaker Jailed for Criticising the Army

On 29th August, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, a Burmese filmmaker, was sentenced to 1 year in prison for criticising the military-drafted 2008 Constitution and the military’s role in politics.

 

Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi is a prominent film maker and the founder of the Human Dignity Film Institute (HDFI), and the Human Rights, Human Dignity International Film Festival in Burma. He was arrested in April 2019 after the Burmese Army filed a complaint against him for “insulting and defaming the army” on his Facebook page.

                                     

He was charged under Section 66 (d) of the Telecommunication Law for defamation, and Section 505 (a) of Burma’s Penal Code. Section 505 (a) criminalises any statements or rumours “with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, sailor or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such.” He remained in detention for more than four months before the court sentenced him to 1 year in prison on 29th August. The court has not yet decided whether to proceed with the 66(d) case.

 

Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi has liver cancer and needs regular check ups and medicines. He has already spent more than four months in prison and has not received adequate healthcare. After his court hearing, he told reporters he did not know if he would receive treatment in prison for his liver cancer. He is currently serving his sentence in Insein prison, Rangoon.

 

Please take action and ask Aung San Suu Kyi to release Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, and to repeal all repressive laws.