Posts Tagged ‘Generation Wave’

Burma’s land and environmental issues keeps human rights defenders under stress

August 19, 2013

Land and environmental issues keep putting pressure on human rights defenders in Burma as reported by Front Line:

On 2 August 2013, human rights defender Mr Ko Htin Kyaw was arrested on charges of insulting the state after participating in a peaceful protest against illegal land seizures on 30 July 2013. Three other peaceful protesters, themselves victims of illegal land seizures, were arrested alongside him. Ko Htin Kyaw is the director of the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF), a community-based organisation working to promote development and democracy in Burma.  They were not given any opportunity to contact a lawyer and were refused bail. If Ko Htin Kyaw is found guilty, he may be sentenced to up to 3 years imprisonment. The charges relate to a peaceful protest held on 30 July 2013 to peacefully express frustration at the government which had not forced the man in question to return the land, despite an acknowledgement from the authorities of the land seizure’s illegality and the existence of considerable evidence to support the claim.

On 20 June 2013, human rights defenders Messrs Moe Thway, Wai Lu and Wai Hmuu Thwin published a statement regarding the arrest warrants issued against them on 13 June 2013 . These arrest warrants are reportedly linked to comments the human rights defenders had made about the Letpadaung copper mine project, a joint venture between the Burmese military’s Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) and Wan Bao Company, a subsidiary of a Chinese arms manufacturer.

Moe Thway is a member of Generation Wave Youth Force, a network of human rights defenders that campaigns for civil and political rights, including by putting pressure on the Burmese government to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They have also been campaigning against the Letpadaung mine and have brought the campaign to national attention. Wai Lu and Wai Hmuu Thwin are part of the Yangon People Service Network which campaigns for the respect of rule of law and democracy in Burma. The campaign against the Letpadaung project is also part of their work.Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped