Burma: Death threats against human rights lawyer Mr. Robert Sann Aung

Urgent Appeal

MMR 002 / 0417 / OBS 036
Death threats / Intimidation
April 7, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Burma.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about death threats against human rights lawyer Mr. Robert Sann Aung, who has been representing numerous victims of human rights violations and their relatives, as well as human rights defenders and student activists facing arbitrary arrest and prosecution in connection with their activities. Mr. Robert Sann Aung is a former political prisoner who was imprisoned six times due to his peaceful human rights activities. In 2015, he was among the three final nominees for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

According to the information received, for several months, Mr. Robert Sann Aung has been receiving threats along with insults through phone calls, text messages, and Facebook posts. Many of the calls warned him to stop supporting the reform of Burma’s military-drafted 2008 Constitution. The frequency of the threatening messages and phone calls has significantly increased since the assassination of prominent Muslim lawyer Mr. Ko Ni on January 29, 2017 [1]. Mr. Robert Sann Aung has also been followed by a man in plain clothes claiming to be a military intelligence member at Bhamo airport, Kachin State, on four separate occasions since December 19, 2016. In addition, unknown individuals have been regularly monitoring Mr. Robert Sann Aung’s home.

The Observatory expresses its concern over the increasing death threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Robert Sann Aung. The Observatory urges the Burmese authorities to take immediate action to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Robert Sann Aung and to order immediate, impartial, independent, and effective investigations into the death threats and other acts of intimidation against him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Burma asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Robert Sann Aung and of all human rights defenders in Burma;

ii. Order immediate, impartial, independent, transparent and effective investigations into the death threats and other acts of intimidation against Mr. Robert Sann Aung, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and apply them the sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment and intimidation against Mr. Robert Sann Aung and all human rights defenders in Burma, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrances;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles 1 and 12.2;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.


· U Htin Kyaw, President of Burma; Fax: +95 1 652 624
· Lt Gen Kyaw Swe, Minister of Home Affairs; Fax: +95 67 412 439; Email: mohamyanmar@gmail.com
· Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Fax: +95 67 412396
· U Win Mra, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission; Email: chmyanmarnhrc@gmail.com
· U Tun Tun Oo, Union Attorney General; Email: ago.h.o@mptmail.net.mm
· Maj Gen Zaw Win, Director General, Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs; Fax: +95 67 412006; Email: mpfserver@gmail.com; epolice@myanmarpoliceforce.org
· HE U Htin Lynn, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Fax: +41 22 732 89 19, +41 22 732 73 77; Email: mission@myanmargeneva.org
· Embassy of Myanmar in Brussels, Belgium; Fax: +32 2 705 50 48, Email: mebrussels@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Burma in your respective countries.

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  • Co-signatories

    Paris-Geneva, April 7, 2017

    Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

    The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and OMCT. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

    To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
    · E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
    · Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
    · Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

  • Member organisations - Burma
    vignette contact
    PO BOX 296 Lardprao Post Office
    10310 Bangkok
    +66 81 850 9008
    +66 2 275 4261

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