Myanmar: lawyer defending political prisoners held by the militaryEvent
- Initial Date
- Jun 10, 2021
- Event Description
The Observatory has received information about a wave of arbitrary arrests targeting lawyers in Myanmar. According to the information received, between May 24 and June 10, 2021, the military junta’s security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained five lawyers who provided legal defense to protesters and other individuals arrested following the February 1 coup d’état. Four of the five lawyers have been charged with “incitement”, under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code .
On June 2, 2021, Thet Htun Oo, a pro-bono lawyer and Central Executive Committee member of the Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar, was arrested while in court inside Myitkyina Prison, Kachin State, where he was assisting individuals who had been detained under Article 505(a). The charges against him are not known at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal.
The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of lawyers, which is inconsistent with international human rights standards, including the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers,  which guarantee the protection of lawyers in the course of their work and prohibit their prosecution in relation to cases they defend. The Observatory expresses grave concern over the high risk of torture, enforced disappearance, and summary execution the five lawyers are facing while in custody. The Observatory remains concerned by the ongoing actions by the military junta to curtail fundamental rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and to a fair trial.
The Observatory urges the military junta of Myanmar to immediately and unconditionally release the five lawyers and all other human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily detained. The Observatory also urge the military junta to immediately halt the ongoing repression of civil society.
Please write to the members of the military junta asking them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Thein Hlaing Tun, Ayeyar Lin Htut, Thet Htun Oo, Nilar, and Hpone Myat Thu;
ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Thein Hlaing Tun, Ayeyar Lin Htut, Thet Htun Oo, Nilar, and Hpone Myat Thu, as their detention is arbitrary and only aims at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities;
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Enactment of repressive legislation and policies
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to work
- Armed forces/ Military
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 2 June 2021, Thet Htun Oo, human rights lawyer, was detained and charged with incitement by the junta as they were providing legal assistance to pro-democracy defenders in Myiktyina, Myanmar