Burma: Generals spooked by electronics charge comedian under electronic transactions law

Posted on November 16, 2008  /  0 Comments

Buddhists are duty bound to offers alms. Zarganar, one of Burma’s most popular comedians, did. But to the wrong monks, according to the Generals. They were protesting the government’s misrule. Among other things Zarganar will be charged with offenses under the Electronic Transactions Law. Burma is short on electronics, but apparently not on law on the subject:

Now, Zarganar has been charged with, among other offenses, violation of the Electronic Transactions Law, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years for using technology like the Internet to distribute information “detrimental to the interest of or that lowers the dignity of any organization or any person.”

The government has also charged many protesters with violating the Video Act, which carries a three-year prison sentence for “copying, distributing, hiring or exhibiting videotape that has no video censor certificate.”

Mr. Turnell says the use of these laws against protesters also seems to confirm the degree to which the governing generals were alarmed by the protesters’ use of the Internet and satellite phones, which are banned in the country, to circulate images of the protest around the globe.

“They were really spooked by the method of protest as much as the protest itself,” he said.

Full story here. For those who think more new laws are the solution to all problems, I guess this is a cautionary note.

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