Joint oral statement Myanmar Human Rights Council
On 13 July 2020, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada delivered an oral statement during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. This dialogue took place during the 44th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and Lawyers for Lawyers thank the Special Rapporteur for his oral report.
We remain disturbed by reports of ongoing atrocity crimes in Rakhine, Shan, and Kachin States, and other severe rights violations throughout the country. Myanmar’s unwillingness to hold the Tatmadaw accountable for grave crimes is a critical concern.
However, during the 30th anniversary of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, we draw the Council’s attention to the legal profession. Despite Myanmar’s acceptance of UPR recommendations in 2015,Myanmar has not ensured an independent legal profession, and this failure thwarts access to justice and remedies for rights violations.
Impunity for the 2017 murder of human rights lawyer U Ko Ni continues, as the suspected intellectual author of the killing remains at large, and investigations to date have lacked the effectiveness, independence, and impartiality required by UN standards. Impunity also continues for threats, attacks, surveillance, or judicial harassment of human rights lawyers.
We ask the Council to urge Myanmar to:
- Protect lawyers from judicial harassment and other reprisals;
- Ensure prompt, impartial, independent, and effective investigations and prosecutions in all cases of attacks against lawyers; and
- Amend the Bar Council Act to ensure independence and integrity of the legal profession.
Thank you Mme. President.
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