Myanmar Digital Rights Films Screening held for International Human Rights Day

17 December 2018
Myanmar Digital Rights Films Screening held for International Human Rights Day
Kyal Yi Lin Six giving a speech.

Two short films on the theme of Burmese people’s rights online were screened on Sunday. More than 50 people participated in this event.

The screening was also to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948.

“This event is to remind everyone that there are human rights issues that we’re all facing when we use the Internet and that we should all work together to address them,” says Ei Myat Noe Khin, Phandeeyar’s Digital Rights Manager.

EngageMedia, a Southeast Asian NGO and Myanmar ICT for Development Organization collaborated with filmmaker Kyal Yi Lin Six and JOOSK Studios, for a film project highlighting digital rights issues in Myanmar. Two films, including Are We Ready? and It’s Time to Talk, were shown during the session.

Are We Ready?, Created by JOOSK Studios, talks about how Article 66D of the 2013 Telecommunications Law has been used to silence critics and dissenters of the government and calls for the removal of the law. Article 66(d) is a clause that allows up to three years in prison for ‘extorting, coercing, restraining wrongfully, defaming, disturbing, causing undue influence or threatening any person using a telecommunications network’. According to Thet Paing Kha, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of the JOOSK Studios, this film will be to sent to groups later for advocacy.

Kyal Yi Lin Six directed the film It’s Time to Talk. The film interviewed a female journalist, a Punjabi student-activist, and a transgender woman who are all faced with online harassment. After showing the three protagonists’ stories, the documentary interviewed some organizations and lawyers on how to prevent online harassment.

Kyal Yi Lin Six said that people in Myanmar are accustomed to staying quiet when facing injustice. She called on everyone to step forward bravely. “I asked one of my friends, do you have issues like that? She said yes. Then I asked one of the boys. He said yes. Maybe people face these kind of issues in our daily lives but we all stay silent. Why?”Kyalyi said, “Most people in Myanmar don’t believe in the law and justice system, that’s why they are silent.”

This event hopes to raise public awareness and calls for human rights online. “If we don’t have the chance to change, at least we can give knowledge to people,” said Kyalyi.