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ATTORNEY URGENT  ALERT

 

BURMA

(Myanmar)

 

 

6th March 2009

 

Burma Supreme Court advocates

 

U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein

Released

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after serving their four-month terms

for contempt of court.

 

Source    ACHR .

 

 

 

 

Rights lawyers Supreme Court advocates U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein were both released after serving their full sentences. Supreme Court advocates U Aung Thein and U Khin Maung Shein were reunited with their families at Bassein and Myaungmya prisons respectively after serving their four-month terms for contempt of court.  

 

They  were last year imprisoned for contempt of court : see  uk-page4.1.asia.burm3.htm.

 

Aung Thein was in good spirits on his release, saying that it had been a learning experience for him.

 

"We sincerely hope that the two lawyers will now be able to get back to their practices and their family lives without any further needless harassment," Basil Fernando, director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, said on hearing the news.

 

The Hong Kong-based group set up a webpage to highlight the plight of lawyers  in Burma through the case of Aung Thein and Khin Maung Shein, at http://campaigns.ahrchk.net/burma-lawyers.

 

The two were jailed simply for performing the wishes of their clients by withdrawing their powers of attorney on the reason that the clients "no longer had faith in the judicial process". They were not given an opportunity to defend themselves against the accusation.

 

Another two lawyers were around the same time sentenced to six months each for interfering in the work of the court by calling for government ministers to appear as witnesses. One of them is still serving his sentence while the other fled to Thailand.

 

Burma's colonial-era contempt of court law has only three sections and no details on how contempt is to be assessed and heard fairly. The AHRC has campaigned for proper standards of contempt in countries of Asia.

 

PLEASE ACT NOW.

 

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