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Burma: Killing of Mr. San Tun

By International Federation for Human Rights  •  June 12, 2014

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Burma.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) about the killing of Mr. San Tun, a land and environmental rights defender and local leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), in Hopong Township, Shan State.

According to the information received, on June 4, 2014, at around midnight, Mr. San Tun was taken from his home by two unidentified men and gunshots were heard by neighbours a few minutes later.

On June 5, 2014, Mr. San Tun’s body was found outside of his village, with bullet holes in the back of his head and wounds on his hands. Three casings and a flash light were found near his body.

The Observatory condemns in the strongest term the murder of Mr. San Tun, and fears that it is related to his human rights activities. Indeed, Mr. San Tun helped local farmers to demand the return of land that had been seized by the Burmese Army’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 249. Allegedly the LIB 249 said that it would return land to villagers, but the headman of the Ming Pyin village objected to the return of the land.

The case is currently under police investigation.

The Observatory calls upon the authorities of Burma to carry out a thorough, effective, and impartial investigation into Mr. San Tun’s murder in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Burmese authorities urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Burma;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the murder of Mr. San Tun in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Provide adequate reparation to the relatives of Mr. San Tun;

iv. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in Burma and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals;

v. Comply with all the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,
and its Article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

vi. More generally, ensure the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ratify international and regional human rights instruments.

Addresses:

· U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, President Office, Office No.18, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR; Fax: + 95 1 652 624

· U Hla Min, Minister for Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office No. 10, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR; Fax: +95 67 412 439

· U Win Mra, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, 27 Pyay Road, Hline Township, Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Fax: +95-1-659668

· Dr. Tun Shin, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Office No. 25, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR; Fax: +95 67 404 146/ 106

· U Tun Tun Oo, Chief Justice, Office of the Supreme Court, Office No. 24, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR; Fax: + 95 67 404 059

· U Kyaw Kyaw Htun, Director General, Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office No. 10, Naypyitaw, Myanmar; Fax: +951 549 663 / 549 208

· H.E. Mr. Maung Wai, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 47, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 732 89 19, +41 22 732 73 77, Email: mission@myanmargeneva.org

· Embassy of Myanmar in Brussels, Boulevard Général Wahis 9, 1030 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 705 50 48, Email: mebrussels@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Burma in your respective countries.

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This post is in: Press Release

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