Monitoring, documentation and reporting
Athan conducts research in three ways: through monitoring, documentation and reporting. Athan’s research team monitors for potential violations of freedom of expression daily. Additionally, they monitor legal changes and how long-term freedom of expression issues are being dealt with. For example, Athan documents the number of cases under several laws, such as: the Telecommunications Law, the Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens, the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law and Section 505 of the Penal Code as well as the number of journalists prosecuted or sued.
By documenting, Athan systematically turns observation into evidence. This allows for a quantitative overview of the situation. Documentation and analysis form the basis for their conclusions. Therefore, Athan is a reliable source for up to date information about freedom of expression in Myanmar.
Athan reports on the situation of freedom of expression in three different formats: statements, short analyses and full research reports. While short statements provide current figures, short analyses provide a brief, illustrated overview on eight pages or less. In contrast, reports have a limited, in-depth focus on specific issues. Reports bring together all the evidence, legal and historical context into a single document.
Published full research reports by Athan so far include:
- a report on the “Status of Freedom of Expression Within the First Two Years Under the Civilian Government” (10th June 2018, Myanmar only),
- the “Mid-term Report on Freedom of Expression” (18th October 2018, bilingual),
- the “Mid-Year Report on the Status of Freedom of Expression in Myanmar” (1st September 2019, bilingual) and
- a special report, “Promises Turn into a Statue: Unsettled Disputes about General Aung San Statue in a Land with Untold History” (April 2019, bilingual).
The special report documents the erection of a statue of General Aung San in the regional capital of Kayah (Karenni) State. This report provides some historical background of the independent Karenni States. It then quotes some Karenni ethic people’s reasons for their rejection of statues of General Aung San on their land. Lastly, it documents the suppression of Karenni activists for exercising their right to free expression.
These analyses and research have contributed to reports by other national and international organizations.