Myanmar, Nyi Niy Htwe, Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein (January 29, 2009)

The Law Society expresses its deep concern over the arrest and arbitrary detention of human rights lawyer Nyi Nyi Htwe and the threat of arrest that hangs over human rights lawyer Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min. Nyi Nyi Htwe, along with Mr. Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, are the defence lawyers of the 11 NLD young protesters who were arrested in September 2008 for having peacefully marched on Daw Aung Sung Suu Kyi's birthday, wearing t-shirts with her picture on them. 

Reports indicate that on October 29, 208, Mr, Nyi Nyi Htwe was arrested by the police due to his participation in the defence of the 11 youth protesters.  The following day, Mr. Nyi Nyi Htwe was sentenced to six months in prison by the Rangoon Northern District Court for "interruption and insulting [a] judiciary proceeding".  An arrest warrant was issued for Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min to face charges at the police station on October 30, 2008, but he failed to appear and is believed to still be at large.

The Law Society is also concerned about reports that two lawyers, U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein, were arrested following the submission of a written statement of their clients' desire to relinquish their power of attorney. The defendants stated that they no longer had 'faith in the judicial processes,' and therefore wished to dismiss their lawyers. The court claimed that this had not been stated by the defendants and it was deemed as the opinion of the lawyers. However, reports show that the defendants had expressed these wishes orally at the previous hearing, and that the court had then requested it from the lawyers in writing. Reports also indicate that the lawyers were convicted without a trial and therefore not given the opportunity to defend the charges brought against them.

Letter to Prime Minister