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Posts Tagged ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ (6 found)

Thailand:Threats Continue in Human Trafficking Trial

(Bangkok, December 24, 2015)— Witnesses involved in a high-profile human trafficking trial are under threat and are not receiving adequate protections in Thailand, Fortify Rights said today. Key witnesses have been forced into hiding while others are confined in shelters […]

December 24, 2015  •  By Fortify Rights  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

FORUM-ASIA Statement on the 2015 International Human Rights Day

(Bangkok, 10 December 2015) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) joins the national and international community in celebrating today the 67th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day. Today, more than ever, FORUM-ASIA stands in firm solidarity with all human rights groups and movements that are restlessly striving for better promotion and protection of human rights in Asia […]

December 10, 2015  •  By Forum-Asia  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Following Vicious Student Crackdowns, EU Must Stop Training Thugs

Burma has once again been in the international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Rather than making headlines for, say, realizing a sustainable peace settlement between the Burma authorities and the country’s various ethnic nationalities, or blazing a trail with genuine political reforms in the lead-up to supposedly historic and seminal general elections, Burma has reverted to type. On 10 March 2015 police launched a violent and cold-blooded crackdown on student activists in Letpadan, Bago Region, brutally assaulting students, monks, ambulance workers and journalists, and arresting scores more. Their “crime” – protesting against the undemocratic National Education Law. The same day, another group of protestors was forcibly dispersed in Rangoon. Their “crime” – protesting against the violence in Letpadan.

The grim details tell a shocking story of callousness, cruelty and chaos: medical workers beaten by police through the open doors of ambulances as they attended to the wounded; journalists attacked and arrested for recording police violence, despite wearing press badges to identify themselves; students hit with batons and stamped upon even after they had been detained; monks arrested merely for supporting the student protestors and giving them sanctuary in the Aungmyay Beikman monastery in Letpadan; and protestors dragged out of houses where they had been sheltering from the violence and arrested by police going around the local area door-to-door […]

March 16, 2015  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Arrest of Student on Trumped-up Charges is a Damning Indictment of Justice in Burma

15 Sept 2014 Oo Aung Facebook IrrawaddyOn 13 September 2014, police arrested female human rights defender (HRD) Phyu Hnin Htwe at her house in Patheingyi Township, Mandalay Region, and sent her to Monywa Prison, Sagaing Region, where she is currently being detained. Phyu Hnin Htwe is a second-year Burmese student at Mandalay’s Yadanabon University, and is also an activist and member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU). She has helped farmers who have been forcibly evicted to make way for the infamous Chinese-backed Letpadaung copper mine in Sagaing Region, going to the Letpadaung area at weekends and supporting displaced farmers.
Her arrest ostensibly relates to a murky incident that took place on 18 May of this year. Two Chinese workers – employees of Wanbao company, the main company involved in the joint venture – were seized from the Letpadaung area, taken to a monastery in Hsete Village, and held there for about 30 hours. The incident followed efforts by Wanbao employees to restart measuring plots of land for which compensation had not even been provided, in spite of villagers’ protests, thereby provoking their anger.

As a result, Phyu Hnin Htwe and six villagers were charged with kidnapping and abduction under Articles 364 and 368 of the Penal Code, which prescribe sentences of up to ten years’ imprisonment. While the case against five of the villagers was quickly dropped, charges still remain against Phyu Hnin Htwe and local villager Win Kyaw, neither of whom attended court in May […]

September 23, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Draconian Sentences of Unity Weekly Journalists Must at the Very Least be Drastically Reduced

10 July 2014 Photo Lwin Lwin Myint IrrawaddyOn Thursday 28 August, lawyer Robert San Aung submitted to Magwe regional court the final appeal against the harsh verdicts brought against the five Unity Weekly journalists on10 July. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment with hard labor following the publication of a report in January of this year that gave details of an alleged chemical weapons facility in central Burma. They were charged for trespass and for “disclosing state secrets” in violation of the 1923 Official Secrets Act (OSA). Robert San Aung submitted the appeal on the grounds that the four reporters are innocent and should therefore be released from prison, and that the sentence of the journal’s executive be reduced by half. The Magwe regional court is expected to issue a decision within a month.

While the offense under Section 3(1)(a) of the OSA is a strict liability offense – meaning that the prosecution only has to prove that the defendants were in the vicinity of the prohibited place for them to be found guilty – in order for the other convictions to stand, the burden is on the prosecution to show that the secrets alleged to have been leaked were intended to or were likely to have breached state security or assisted an enemy. The journalists must be shown to have leaked detailed and useful information, to have done more than just report that the facility was a weapons factory. It is not clear that the prosecution ever satisfied this requirement.

Even so, if the appeal submission fails to convince the court either that the journalists are not guilty of any substantive offenses, or that there are specific and legitimate defenses under the OSA that can be relied upon, then at the very least the appeal should be successful on grounds of mitigation regarding the alleged offenses, meaning that the sentences should at a minimum be drastically reduced […]

September 2, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤