Prosecution of Four Defense Lawyers in Burma
BURMA: Public Statement on the Prosecution of Four Defense Lawyers
The United States condemns the Burmese regime’s recent prosecution of four defense lawyers in connection with their legal representation of political detainees. In the past two weeks, defense attorney Nyi Nyi Htwe was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and three others, U Aung Thein, U Khin Maung Shein, and Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, face possible prison time for contempt of court after they lodged complaints about the lack of due process in their clients’ trials. These actions represent a blatant attempt by the regime to intimidate these lawyers and demonstrate its contempt for the rule of law. We call on the regime to release immediately Nyi Nyi Htwe and drop all charges pending against U Aung Thein, U Khin Maun Shein and Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min. We further reiterate our call for the regime to cease harassing and arresting citizens for peacefully exercising their internationally recognized human rights, to release all political prisoners immediately, and to begin a genuine dialogue with democratic and ethnic minority groups on a transition to a civilian, democratic government in Burma.