Burma/Myanmar : Killing of Mr. Johnny

09/07/2015
Appel urgent

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the killing of Mr. Johnny.

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

MMR 003 / 0715 / OBS 057
Assassination
Burma / Myanmar
July 9, 2015

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

Description of the situation :

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the killing of Mr. Johnny, a land and farmers’ rights defender and Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Kawthinshu Village, Hpa-an Township, Karen State. Mr. Johnny helped locals in several land grabbing cases and was a known land rights advocate.

According to the information received, on July 2, 2015, in the early hours of the morning, Mr. Johnny was shot dead by unknown assailants in front of his house in Eindea Village, Hpa-an Township. Mr. Johnny’s 14-year-old daughter heard shots and found Mr. Johnny still breathing before he passed away a few moments later. The police were informed of the shooting at approximately 1:50am and went to inspect the scene. They found Mr. Saw Johnny’s body about three meters away from the entrance of his home with eight bullet holes in his back and leg. Ten bullet casings were also found at the scene. The case is currently under police investigation.

The Observatory condemns in the strongest terms the murder of Mr. Johnny, and fears that it is related to his human rights activities.

The Observatory calls upon the Burmese authorities to conduct an immediate, thorough, effective, and impartial investigation into Mr. Johnny’s murder in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal, apply the criminal sanctions provided by the law, and adopt urgent measures to protect human rights defenders in Burma.

Actions requested :

Please write to the Burmese authorities, urging them to :

i. Order an immediate, effective, thorough, and impartial investigation into the murder of Mr. Johnny in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law ;

ii. Provide adequate reparation to the relatives of Mr. Johnny ;

iii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in Burma ;

iv. Put an end to any acts of harassment against human rights defenders in Burma and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals ;

v. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its :

- Article 1, which stipulates that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,
- Article 12.1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”,
- Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

vi. More generally, ensure the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ratify international and regional human rights instruments.

Addresses :

• U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, President Office, Office No.18, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR ; Fax : + 95 1 652 624
• Lt Gen Ko Ko, Minister for Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office No. 10, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR ; Fax : +95 67 412 439
• U Win Mra, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, 27 Pyay Road, Hline Township, Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar ; Fax : +95-1-659668
• Dr. Tun Shin, Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Office No. 25, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR ; Fax : +95 67 404 146/ 106
• U Tun Tun Oo, Chief Justice, Office of the Supreme Court, Office No. 24, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR ; Fax : + 95 67 404 059
• U Kyaw Kyaw Htun, Director General, Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office No. 10, Naypyitaw, MYANMAR ; Fax : +951 549 663 / 549 208
• H.E. Mr. Maung Wai, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue Blanc 47, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Fax : +41 22 732 89 19, +41 22 732 73 77, Email : mission@myanmargeneva.org
• Embassy of Myanmar in Brussels, Boulevard Général Wahis 9, 1030 Brussels, Belgium, Fax : +32 (0)32 2 705 50 48, Email : mebrussels@skynet.be

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

***

Paris-Geneva, July 9, 2015

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

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

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