Myanmar (Burma)
Urgent Interventions

Death threats against human rights lawyer Robert Sann Aung

MMR 002 / 0417 / OBS 036

Death threats / Intimidation


April 7, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, apartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requestsyour urgent intervention in the following situation in Burma.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about deaththreats against human rights lawyer Mr. RobertSann Aung, who has been representing numerous victims of humanrights violations and their relatives, as well as human rights defenders andstudent activists facing arbitrary arrest and prosecution in connection withtheir activities. Mr.Robert Sann Aung is a former political prisoner who was imprisoned six timesdue to his peaceful human rights activities. In 2015, he was among the three finalnominees for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

According tothe information received, forseveral months, Mr. Robert Sann Aung has been receiving threats along withinsults through phone calls, text messages, and Facebook posts. Many of thecalls warned him to stop supporting the reform of Burma’s military-drafted 2008Constitution. The frequency of the threatening messages and phone calls hassignificantly increased since the assassination of prominent Muslim lawyer Mr. KoNi on January 29, 2017[1].Mr. Robert Sann Aung has also been followed by a man in plain clothes claimingto be a military intelligence member at Bhamo airport, Kachin State, on fourseparate occasions since December 19, 2016. In addition, unknown individualshave been regularly monitoring Mr. Robert Sann Aung’s home.

The Observatory expresses its concern over the increasing death threatsand acts of harassment against Mr. Robert Sann Aung. The Observatory urges the Burmeseauthorities to take immediate action to guarantee the physical and psychologicalintegrity of Mr. Robert Sann Aungand to order immediate, impartial, independent, and effective investigationsinto the death threats and other acts of intimidation against him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Burma asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrityof Mr. Robert Sann Aung and of all human rights defenders in Burma;

ii. Order immediate, impartial, independent, transparent and effectiveinvestigations into the death threats and other acts of intimidation againstMr. Robert Sann Aung, in order to identify all those responsible, bring thembefore an independent tribunal, and apply them the sanctions provided by thelaw;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment and intimidation against Mr. Robert SannAung and all human rightsdefenders in Burma, and ensure inall circumstances that they are able to carry out their activities withouthindrances;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human RightsDefenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998,in particular with its Articles 1 and 12.2;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedomsin accordance with international humanrights standards.


· U Htin Kyaw, President of Burma; Fax: +95 1 652 624

· Lt Gen Kyaw Swe, Minister of Home Affairs; Fax: +9567 412 439; Email:

· Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs;Fax: +95 67 412396

· U Win Mra, Chairman of the Myanmar National HumanRights Commission; Email:

· U Tun Tun Oo, Union Attorney General; Email:

· Maj Gen Zaw Win, Director General, Myanmar PoliceForce, Ministry of Home Affairs; Fax: +95 67 412006; Email:;

· HE U Htin Lynn, Ambassador Extraordinary andPlenipotentiary, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva,Switzerland; Fax: +41 22 732 89 19, +41 22 732 73 77; Email:

· Embassy of Myanmar in Brussels, Belgium; Fax: +32 2705 50 48, Email:

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


Paris-Geneva, April 7, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of thisappeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (theObservatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and OMCT. The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the EuropeanUnion Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civilsociety.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals[at]

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 143 55 18 80

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 80949 29

[1]See Observatory Press Release, January 30, 2017.

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