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IBA denounces arrest of lawyers in Myanmar

25 Mar 2021 / rule of law Print

IBA denounces arrest of lawyers in Myanmar

The International Bar Association (IBA) has strongly condemned the systematic destruction by Myanmar junta of legal protections, including the right to life, freedom of expression, assembly, association, privacy, legal representation of one’s choice and a fair trial.

The IBA has called for the restoration of citizens’ rights, and for the release of detained protestors and defence lawyers.

The arrests of legal professionals attempting to represent arbitrarily detained protestors, who were peacefully demonstrating against the 1 February coup d’état, contravenes international law and norms, including the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the IBA has said.

Concern

The actions are of deep concern to the IBA, as is the appropriating of law to fit the junta’s agenda.

IBA President Sternford Moyo commented: “The IBA supports and applauds the lawyers in Myanmar trying to uphold the rule of law while it is disregarded by the junta at every turn. 

“On the streets, citizens are being murdered by security forces with impunity. Mobile phone footage shows first responders taken from ambulances and beaten with the butts of guns by men wearing uniforms that should represent protection for citizens.

“Civil liberties are being cast aside with irreverence and brutality is meted out with alarming consistency. Yet, armed only with professionalism and moral courage, lawyers are turning up at police stations to defend the detained.

Liberty

“Despite sometimes jeopardising their own liberty and safety, lawyers are holding to the professional oaths they took (in relation to lawyers).

“The IBA admires them and calls on lawyers everywhere to show support for peers in Myanmar,” he said.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland