Burma Partnership Khin Omar Open Letter to ASEAN Foreign Ministers ASEAN must call for the release of political prisoners in Burma

Your Excellencies,

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we, the Working Group members of the Burma Partnership, reiterate our call on ASEAN to demand the release of all political prisoners in Burma, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic leaders. As the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting will be held in Indonesia on December 15, to celebrate the ASEAN Charter coming into effect, we particularly ask you to make the issue of Burma’s political prisoners focal there.

Since adopting the ASEAN Charter, the military junta in Burma has increased its repression. ASEAN’s failure to positively respond to our letter of November 2 (endorsed by 44 organizations) on this matter has emboldened the junta to intensify its crackdown. In November, at least 215 activists were sentenced up to 65 years imprisonment. These prisoners are not violent criminals, but monks, students, bloggers, lawyers, journalists, musicians, poets, and political leaders who peacefully demand a stable government, one that respects the rule of law, as well as people’s rights to life, liberty and security. These are the fundamental principles encompassed by the ASEAN Charter. continue
fbppn-logothumbnail also read http://www.fbppn.net/

The health of 88 generation student leader Min Ko Naing has deteriorated since his transfer to Keng Tung prison

“He is not allowed to walk around or go out in the sun, he is stuck in his cell,” she said.Kyi Kyi Nyunt said the cold weather in Keng Tung was also taking its toll on her brother, who told her there was no doctor in the prison.to continue http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=2002

MYANMAR-THAILAND: Child trafficking continues, but not fuelled by cyclone

MAE SOT, 11 December 2008 (IRIN) – When Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in May, leaving close to 140,000 people dead or missing, aid workers feared an increase in child trafficking from the region.
to continue http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=81919

Agencies feared children would be at greater risk of trafficking in the wake of Cyclone Nargis
Agencies feared children would be at greater risk of trafficking in the wake of Cyclone Nargis

Unhappy Human Rights Day in Burma

The celebration,” the regional body said, “is a grim reminder that even after 60 years of the adoption of this great declaration, the gap between what is declared and what is actually achieved … is enormous. Both in the field of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, people in Asia … have so little to celebrate. to continue http://www.upiasia.com/index.php

Recent award given to a detained Shan leader indicates that ethnic leaders are not forgotten

Khun Htun Oo, leader of the largest party in Shan State, who had been sentenced to 93 year jail sentences at Putao prison, Kachin State, was named the recipient of the Honorary Citizenship Award by Monza, a town in Italy near Milan on 5 December. The ceremony was held on 9 December and the award was presented to Bodie Saw Min, Secretary of the EBO, on his behalf.- to continue

Nay Phone Latt hears of media award in prison

Dec 10, 2008 (DVB)–Detained blogger Nay Phone Latt has said he feels a greater sense of responsibility since being honoured by international media association Reporters Without Borders, his mother told DVB.
Aye Aye Than, Nay Phone Latt’s mother, said he had found out about the award from prison officials. “I thought he still didn’t know about the RSF award when I visited him in prison but he said he had found out about it from prison officials and had celebrated by treating his fellow inmates to snacks,” Aye Aye Than said. “He said he now has a greater responsibility since he was chosen for the award,” she said.
to continue
pic source moemaka.com

BURMA: Blogger charged without evidence for upsetting tranquility during protests

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been closely following the case against a blogger in Burma who has been arrested and charged in connection with last year’s monk-led protests. The blogger, Nay Phone Latt, has been charged with distributing material to upset the public tranquility, but like in other cases of this sort there is not sufficient evidence against the accused, and he was also interrogated in army custody and sent for trial in a closed court.

Nay Phone Latt in 2007 set up a small Internet shop at his house in Rangoon. Later in the year, he was involved on the sidelines of the protests against the military government.

Nay Phone Latt was arrested at the end of January 2008 and accused of having defaced images of national leaders, writing and cartoons in his email inbox and having distributed these in order to upset the public tranquility. According to the police, in December 2007 when he went to Singapore he also met political activists and went to see the “Four Fruits” (Thi Lay Thi) entertainment troupe, whose CDs of performances he copied and passed to others, among other things.

There is as in other cases arising from last year’s protests a range of problems with the cases against Nay Phone Latt. To begin with, first the police have not presented any evidence that he had himself been responsible for distributing any of the contents that they found in his email inbox, which he had received from elsewhere, not made himself. He did not post any of them or anything else inflammatory to his blog (http://nayphonelatt.blogspot.com). Secondly, the information given by the police on events in Singapore are irrelevant to the cases that have been lodged against him. Thirdly, the entertainment troupe had up to the time that it went to Singapore had its CDs freely sold in Rangoon. Fourthly, Nay Phone Latt was interrogated and detained at an army camp, a fact acknowledged by the investigating officer in his testimony, which is a flagrant violation of the law on evidence. And finally, fifthly, the case was yet again heard in a closed court inside the Insein Prison, rather than in an open court as should usually be done by law.

Nay Hpone Latt has been charged by the same police officer that has brought the case against Win Maw for having contact with an overseas radio station (AHRC-UAC-200-2008). However, it is not only the investigating officer who is the same. The so-called witnesses of the search conducted in the two cases also are exactly the same people, although the arrests and searches took place weeks apart. The purpose of having two people act as witnesses is so that there is an independent account of police actions in conducting a search. But this police officer is evidently taking his own “witnesses” along with him to multiple searches and arrests to have them fill out the form for him as required by procedure and without any regard to the purpose of having the witnesses there.

read all http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/3000/

Lawyers denied permission to meet Daw Suu

Dec 11, 2008 (DVB)–Ministers in Naypyidaw on 9 December refused to grant permission to two lawyers for detained National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to hold a meeting with their client.

The lawyers, Kyi Win and his assistant Hla Myo Myint, gave a letter to Special Branch police on 3 December requesting permission to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on either 8 or 10 December to discuss her appeal against her detention. to continue

RIGHTS: Politics Still Reign Over Principles at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 10 (IPS) – The United Nations Wednesday commemorated the 60th anniversary of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) against the backdrop of widespread political repression — most notably in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Burma (Myanmar), Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Israeli-occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza.
The United States, France and Britain have continued to protect Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan while Russia and China continue to shield Zimbabwe, Sudan and Burma (Myanmar) against any strictures or sanctions for human rights violations.