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Myanmar has detailed counterterrorism provisions in a dedicated law adopted in 2014. The law is used to target journalists and political opponents of the regime. The death penalty is imposable for terrorism offences.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is indirectly defined in very broad terms in the 2014 Counterterrorism Law. Many acts covered by global terrorism treaties are criminalized as terrorism without the need for specific purpose or motivation. Act of terrorism means

committing or attempting to commit an offence with the aim of committing terrorism as follows-

(1) Intentional offence committed unlawfully against civil aviation and airport 

(2) Action committed against internationally protected persons including representatives 

(3) Action committed relating to taking hostages

(4) Offence concerning nuclear materials, radioactive materials and nuclear power stations 

(5) Intentional offence committed unlawfully in order to harm maritime travel 

(6) Intentional offence committed unlawfully in order to harm underwater resource exploration unit at offshore shelf 

(7) Offence committed relating to unmarked explosives 

(8) Offence committed relating to terrorist bombings 

(9) Offence concerning support of money and things for terrorism 

(10) Actions to severely damage the security or the life and property of the public or infrastructure which is fundamental to the public or an individual, or state-owned buildings, vehicles, equipment and facilities.

(11) Act of terrorism committed against state-owned or government-owned buildings, vehicles, equipment and facilities abroad, diplomatic offices including the country’s embassies and consulates.

(12) Actions to produce, transfer, keep, supply or offer to supply arms and ammunition, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, explosive weapons or nuclear materials to a terrorist or a member of a terrorist group.

(13) To cause fear among the public, to cause death of or severe pain to a civilian or any other person who is not involved in fighting the battle in the midst of armed conflict with the aim of forcing the government or a local or foreign organization to do an unlawful act or making them avoid acting lawfully, and other actions.

(14) Acts of terrorism which severely damage the health and safety of the public, or the environment with the aim of terrorizing.

(15) Actions to insist, persuade, propagate, and recruit a person to be involved in a terrorist group or in doing terrorist activities.

(16) Actions to form a terrorist group, knowingly involve in a terrorist group, or to give responsibility to act.

(17) Actions of concealing or knowingly allowing a terrorist or a member of a terrorist group to take refuge, hide, stay temporarily, or hiding them so that they would not be arrested and taken action or so that they could escape.

(18) Actions to allow a terrorist or a member of a terrorist group to use, gather, hold meeting in a building or at a place, to give terrorist training or to arrange transportation.Chap. 1(3), 2014 Counterterrorism Law.


A terrorist is defined in the law as 

the person who unlawfully commits or attempts to commit an act of terrorism directly or indirectly, or who acts as an accomplice in the act of terrorism, or who directs or persuades others to commit an act of terrorism, or who supports with the aim of committing an act of terrorism.Chap. 1(3), 2014 Counterterrorism Law.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Myanmar is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State not party


Myanmar is also a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism in the Association of South-East Asian Nations.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
ASEAN 2007 Treaty on Counter Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Under the 2014 counterterrorism law, those convicted of committing acts of terrorism are sentenced to a minimum of ten years imprisonment and a maximum of the death penalty or life imprisonment.Chap. 14(49 and 50), 2014 Counterterrorism Law.The law has been used to indict and convict journalists and political opponents of the military junta.

The Constitution of Myanmar declares that political parties that engage in terrorism have no right to exist.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Special Branch of Myanmar Police Force (MPF) is a member organization of ASEAN Intelligence Community Counter-terrorism Committee (AIC CTC).

According to the government of Myanmar, domestic counterterrorist measures must be guided by the following legal principles:

- Responses to terrorist attacks must ensure basic legal rights of all the people involved in terrorist incidents,

- Protection and rescue measures during and after the terrorist incidents must be in line with the existing rules and regulations,

- Investigation and legal action against perpetrators must be in compliance with the international human rights law and fully guarantee the legal rights of entitlement [sic].


Myanmar 2014 Counterterrorism Law (original text)

Myanmar 2014 Counterterrorism Law (English version)

Constitution of Myanmar