Myanmar (Burma)
18.08.17
Urgent Interventions

Ongoing judicial harassment against Mandalay farmers and two land rights defenders of the Farmers Network Interest of Farmers and Labor (FNI-FL)

URGENT APPEAL - THEOBSERVATORY@font-face { font-family: "Arial";}@font-face { font-family: "Courier New";}@font-face { font-family: "Wingdings";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraph, li.MsoListParagraph, div.MsoListParagraph { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.LienInternet { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }span.Marquedannotation2 { }span.Ancredenotedebasdepage { vertical-align: super; }p.Footer1, li.Footer1, div.Footer1 { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.Header1, li.Header1, div.Header1 { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.NotedebasdepageCar { color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }

New information

MMR 003 / 0817 / OBS 089

Judicial harassment /

Arbitrary detention /

Burma

August 18, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, apartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), hasreceived new information and requests your urgent intervention in the followingsituation in Burma.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoingjudicial harassment against two land rights defenders, Messrs. Toe Gyiand Myo Win, leaders of the Mandalay-based Farmers Network Interest ofFarmers and Labor (FNI-FL), and 11 farmers, including the arbitrary detentionof Mr. Toe Gyi and nine of the farmers.

According tothe information received, onAugust 10, 2017, the Pyin Oo Lwin Township Court rejected an appeal by Messrs.Toe Gyi and Myo Win and 11 farmers to overturn the June 1, 2017 decision torevoke their bail (see background information). Mr. Toe Gyi and nine of the farmers whoattended court proceedings were detained and sent to Mandalay’s Obo Prison. Mr.Myo Win and two farmers, who did not attend proceedings, were summoned and facea fine of five million kyat (approx. 3,151 Euros) if they do not appear incourt within 15 days.

The Observatory strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of Mr. Toe Gyiand nine farmers, as well as their ongoing judicial harassment, along with thatagainst Mr. Myo Win and two other farmers, which only aims at punishing themfor their legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory urges the Burmeseauthorities to end all forms of harassment – including at the judicial level –against all of the above-mentioned defenders, and drop all charges againstthem.

Background information:

On October 23, 2016, Messrs.Toe Gyi, Myo Win and 11 farmers werearrested for their involvement in a plow protest on October 8, 2016 in PyinsarVillage, Pyin Oo Lwin Township. The protest was against land confiscationwithout compensation in the Mandalay Region, which the military started tocarry in 1998, followed by the selling of large tracts of it to privatecompanies and business executives with ties to the then ruling military juntafor a coffee plantation project[1].

On October 24, 2016, Messrs. Toe Gyi, Myo Win and other 11 farmers werecharged under Articles 114 (abetment), 353 (assault of a public servant), 392(robbery), 427 (mischief), 447 (trespass), and 506 (intimidation) of theCriminal Code for their involvement in a plow protest.

After spending four months in detention, they were granted bail on 23February 2017.

On June 1, 2017, Pyin Oo Lwin Township Court revoked their bail andissued arrest warrants.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Burma asking them to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Toe Gyi and the nine farmers, as their detention is arbitrary;

  1. Immediately and unconditionally put an end to all acts of judicial harassment - including at the judicial level –, and drop all the charges brought against Messrs. Toe Gyi and Myo Win, the 11 farmers, and all other human rights defenders in Burma;

  1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Toe Gyi and Myo Win, the 11 farmers, and all other human rights defenders in Burma;

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

  1. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Addresses:

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

· Lt GenKyaw Swe, Minister of Home Affairs; Fax: +95 67 412 439; Email: mohamyanmar@gmail.com

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

· U WinMra, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission; Email: chmyanmarnhrc@gmail.com

· U Tun TunOo, Union Attorney General; Email: ago.h.o@mptmail.net.mm

· Maj GenZaw Win, Director General, Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs; Fax:+95 67 412006; Email: mpfserver@gmail.com; epolice@myanmarpoliceforce.org

· HE U HtinLynn, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative tothe United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Fax: +41 22 732 89 19, +41 22 732 7377; Email: mission@myanmargeneva.org

· Embassyof Myanmar in Brussels, Belgium;Fax: +32 2 705 50 48, Email: mebrussels@skynet.be

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

***

Paris-Geneva, August 18, 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 ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights DefendersMechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals[at]fidh-omct.org

· 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 22 809 4929

[1] See the Observatory PressRelease, issued on August 9, 2017.

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