Official Statement on Attacks against Journalism

CASE 36-2017: Catholic Archdiocese of Yangon (Myanmar) & His Eminence Cardinal Charles Maung Bo
Official Statement on Attacks against Journalism
The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights, on October 16, 2018, decides to reaffirm the Judgment against the Catholic Archdiocese of Yangon (Myanmar) for being Responsible for Complicity with Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity, Complicity with Crimes Against Peace, and Spiritual Fraud. At the same time, it is confirmed the fact that acts of Complicity with Dictatorship and Complicity with Violations of Fundamental Freedoms are also being committed, which can be demonstrated by the fact that Cardinal Charles Maung Bo supports the de facto government of Myanmar, which has decided to cover up its corruption and human rights violations by means of criminal prosecution against journalists, making illegal detentions in order to undermine freedom of expression and information. In fact, on October 9, 2018, the Myanmar police arrested several journalists for revealing and publishing how members of the government misappropriated public funds from the State. The journalists would have been arrested under the charge of defamation, and they would have been even deprived from access their lawyers, which demonstrates the deeply anti-juridical, authoritarian and anti-democratic character of the Myanmar government. Although governments have the right to sanction possible acts of defamation, an adequate punishment must be the processes of Civil Law instead of resorting to criminal punishments that are only useful to violate the right to freedom of expression.
The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights confirms that these arbitrary detentions of journalists are not an isolated episode of the Myanmar government, and are actually part of a systematic and dictatorial pattern of Violations against Fundamental Freedoms, which is evident when recalling that during December 2017 the Myanmar government had already made illegal detentions of international journalists who revealed evidence of the massacre against members of the Rohingya People. Ultimately, without a free press there is no real democracy.
Always with reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Spiritual Judge of the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights

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