Friday, June 19, 2009

Pro-junta rights group rejects UN rights experts’ view of Suu Kyi’s trial

by Mungpi

New Delhi (Mizzima) - A human rights group, believed to be pro Burmese junta, has rejected the statement of five United Nations Independent Rights expert’s regarding the trial of Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi saying the trial is being conducted in keeping with international and domestic laws.

The Myanmar Human Rights Group, a largely unknown entity, on Thursday issued a statement, which was published by the junta’s mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, condemning the UN experts for issuing a statement that said the trial so far is not open and fair.

On June 16, five UN human rights experts issued a statement urging the Burmese regime to hold an “open and fair” trial of the Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, her two live-in party mates, and the American John William Yettaw.

In the statement, Leandro Despouy, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers said, “So far, the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi and her aides has been marred by flagrant violations of substantive and procedural rights.”

Joining Despouy were four other rights experts - Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Ms. Manuela Carmena Castrilo; the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human rights in Myanmar, Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana; the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human rights Defenders, Ms. Margaret Sekaggya; and the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Mr. Frank La Rue.

But the Myanmar Human Rights Group, in its statement, said the Burmese authorities are conducting a trial against Mr. Yettaw, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her two aides in keeping with international standards and domestic laws.

And “it is regretful to learn that five UN human rights Special Rapporteurs issued a statement misleadingly on 16 June 2009,” the statement said.

The group further said the trial is being conducted fairly with the accused allowed to hire defence lawyers of their choice. An United States Consulate officer and the local assistant were allowed to observe the court proceedings.

Besides, the group said, though the trial is being conducted in a special court inside the Insein prison compound because of security reasons, diplomats and journalists were also allowed to observe every major court proceeding.

“The politicization under the pretext of human rights of the action being taken against those offenders in accordance with the existing laws of the State is unacceptable, and the statement by those Special Rapporteurs is hereby rejected,” the group said.

During the trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader, which began on May 18, authorities twice allowed diplomats and journalists to enter the court room and observe the proceedings.

While allowing 14 prosecution witnesses to testify, the court disqualified three of the four witnesses that the defence wanted to produce, allowing only one witness to testify.

At the request of the defence team, the divisional court, (a higher court), later revised the order and allowed another witness but continued to bar the other two – Win Tin, a veteran journalist and NLD’s executive committee member and the NLD’s vice-chairman Tin Oo, who is also under house arrest.

JEG's Comment:
World Human Rights refer to ALL humans on earth
whilst Myanmar Human Rights
refer to the rights of the criminals in charge of Burma

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