Myanmar Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min Sept. 2012 summary

This marks the third time that the Law Society writes regarding Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min.  The previous letters dated January 29, 2009 and April 30, 2012 expressed the Law Society's concern that Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min and other lawyers in Myanmar may have been targeted with criminal sanctions and had their licenses improperly revoked for political reasons. 

 

In January 2009, the Law Society first wrote regarding Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min and other lawyers who appeared to be the subject of arbitrary detention, arrests, or the threat of arrest.  Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min was one of two defence lawyers of 11 NLD 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.  In October 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min to face charges stemming from his participation in the defence of these political protesters.  Fearing arrest and detention for political reasons, Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min fled Myanmar.  He was found guilty in absentia for the "interruption and insulting [a] judiciary proceeding" and sentenced to six months imprisonment.  Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min also had his license to practice law revoked due to this criminal conviction.

 

In 2012, Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min sought to have his license reinstated. He was one of 32 lawyers who had had their licenses to practice law revoked.  In its letter of April 30, 2012, the Law Society wrote you with concerns about the basis of the revocation of these lawyers' licenses, and requested further information as to what steps would be taken to respond to the petitioners' request to be reinstated as lawyers.  The Law Society was pleased to learn following our last correspondence, that 11 of 32 lawyers described above were reinstated, and that other lawyers who had their licenses revoked could apply to be considered for reinstatement.  The Law Society notes that the reinstatement of these lawyers and the review for potentially improper political interference against lawyers by previous regimes marks a further important step towards protecting the rule of law in Myanmar.  However, in light of these recent positive developments, the Law Society is all the more concerned by reports that since returning to Myanmar in order to participate in the historic changes taking place, and on the same day as names were removed from Myanmar's Blacklist, Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min was arrested and imprisoned for acts undertaken in the course of defending individual peaceful political protesters in 2008. 

 

 Letter of Intervention

 Public Statement