Myanmar: Propaganda

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of reports that Myanmar nationalists and military are using Telegram, Youtube, Telegram, VK and Viber to disseminate propaganda news.

Photo of Amanda Milling Amanda Milling Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Misinformation is rife in Myanmar and the UK is committed to tackling it. The military continues to perpetuate propaganda, including their unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud in 2020. In response to the February 2021 coup, the UK Government established the Myanmar Witness programme which verifies and reports on open-source information of serious human rights violations and abuses. This project is essential to countering disinformation. We call on the regime to end its obstruction of the Myanmar people's right to information and freedom of expression, which is vital to de-escalating the crisis.

The UK Government strongly believes that the rights of individuals and independent media to express opinions and peacefully challenge authority are essential to a free and open society. The FCDO launched its media freedom campaign in 2018 to shine a global spotlight on media freedom and to raise the cost to those who abuse the media. Myanmar remains a priority country for the UK on media freedom.

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