Re: Khun Tun Oo, and others
To: Senior General Than Shwe, State Peace and Development Council
From: Paul D. Copeland, member of LRWC
LRWC has recently become gravely concerned about the safety and well being of the 7 above-mentioned people who were detained in Burma on or about February 9th, 2005. The whereabouts of these 7 people are unknown. There is no information about whether charges have been laid against them. There are concerns that these individuals have been arrested for political reasons and that they are at risk of being tortured or ill-treated.
You have expressed the view that Myanmar wishes to move in the direction of increase integration into international community. We note the United Nations’ desire for Myanmar’s progress in this regard, including the desire of the UN that Myanmar release all political prisoners and ensure freedom of all political parties to conduct normal political activities. We join with the UN Commission on Human Rights in urging that you take discernable, positive efforts in these directions. As an organization of lawyers, we are particularly concerned that lawyers be free to practice law and to uphold the rule of law and the international and domestic rights of individuals they represent, regardless of their political affiliation.
Therefore, we respectfully urge that the relevant authorities in Burma make the whereabouts of the above-named individuals known, ensure they are not tortured or ill-treated in detention, and allow them immediate access to their families, lawyers and medical attention. We urge that these individuals be release unconditionally and immediately unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
We would appreciate your response to LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax to advise of your views about these matters and of all actions taken by the State Peace and Development Council to ensure that these people, and indeed all people in Burma, are treated in accordance with international standards of human rights and decency.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.