A member of a satirical poetry troupe speaks to media outside of Botataung court in Yangon, Myanmar.


Shape of Myanmar

In Myanmar, TrialWatch monitored the trial of seven members of the Peacock Generation troupe who were prosecuted for a performance of thangyat—a traditional form of slam poetry—that criticized the Burmese military’s role in politics.

Paing Ye Thu

Peacock Generation Troupe

The troupe was charged with making a statement “with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, sailor or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such.” Six of the seven members were convicted and given jail time in a trial that violated their fair trial rights and their right to freedom of expression. The TrialWatch Fairness Report on the case assigned the trial a grade of “D,” commenting that the “trial appeared to be a form of political persecution or harassment.”