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Human rights of parliamentarians: 188th Governing Council session

MYANMAR
Parliamentarians reportedly still serving their sentences: CASE N MYN/35 - SAW HLAING CASE N MYN/104 - KYAW KHIN CASE N MYN/236 - KHUN TUN OO CASE N MYN/237 - KYAW SAN CASE N MYN/238 - KYAW MIN CASE N MYN/241 - KHIN MAUNG WIN CASE N MYN/53 - HLA THAN CASE N MYN/55 - TIN MAUNG WIN CASE N MYN/72 - SAW WIN CASE N MYN/83 - KYAW MIN CASE N MYN/242 - KYAW KYAW CASE N MYN/261 - U NYI PU CASE N MYN/262 - TIN MIN HTUT CASE N MYN/263 - WIN MYINT AUNG CASE N MYN/264 - THAN LWIN CASE N MYN/265 - KYAW KHAING CASE N MYN/131 - HLA KHIN CASE N MYN/132 - AUN MIN CASE N MYN/245 - MYINT THEIN*

Parliamentarians who died in custody or soon after their release:

Parliamentarians who were assassinated: CASE N MYN/66 - WIN KO CASE N MYN/67 - HLA PE

Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 188th session (Panama, 20 April 2011)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Referring to the case of the above-mentioned former members-elect of the Pyithu Hluttaw (People's Assembly) of the Union of Myanmar, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/188/13(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 187th session (October 2010), Recalling that 12 former members-elect continue to suffer imprisonment on account of having merely exercised their freedom of expression and were sentenced on the basis of legal proceedings which blatantly disregarded their right to a fair trial; that their case has to be situated in a context in which it has expressed the following longstanding concerns: The complete disregard of the results of the election of 27 May 1990, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 392 of the 485 seats, and the continued removal from politics of former parliamentarians, notably through arbitrary arrests, prolonged imprisonment, forced resignation from political parties, and severe limitations on any kind of political activity;

The National Convention, an assembly of members selected by the authorities, drafted a new constitution giving the military sweeping powers, without allowing a free exchange of opinions and ideas and penalizing any criticism of its work, which was adopted by referendum in May 2008 in a climate of intimidation, Considering that, under the new Constitution of Myanmar, on 7 November 2010 elections took place for 75% of the seats in the Lower House (Pyithu Hluttaw) and in the Upper House (Amyotha Hluttaw) of Parliament; the elections saw the overwhelming dominance of the military-backed party Union of Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which obtained more than 75% of the elected seats; in addition to the elected seats, under the new Constitution, the military-designated nominees to fill the 25% of the seats, Considering that on 21 March 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in which it strongly regretted that the Government of Myanmar had not held free, fair, transparent and inclusive elections; it called insistently upon the Government to lift restrictions on freedom of assembly, association and movement and on freedom of expression, including for free and independent media, and to end the use of censorship, including the use of restrictive laws to prevent the reporting of views critical of the Government, and strongly urged the Government of Myanmar to release all prisoners of conscience, estimated at more than 2,100, Considering that on 31 January 2011 the Parliament of Myanmar started its first session; that on 4 February 2011 the Presidential Electoral College elected former Prime Minister Thein Sein (USDP) as President of the country, and that his 30member cabinet was approved on 11 February 2011; since then members of the opposition in Parliament have repeatedly called on the Government to release all political prisoners, which call the Minister of Home Affairs dismissed on 22 March 2011 as untimely, reportedly stating that "granting amnesty to prisoners is not the concern of the Hluttaw or judiciary" and that only the "President has the power to grant amnesty on the recommendation of the National Defence and Security Council", Considering that, under Article 80 of the Constitution of Myanmar, the Parliament has inter alia the following functions: (c) submitting, discussing and resolving on a Bill; (g) submitting proposals, discussing and resolving; (h) raising questions and replying, 1. Deplores the fact that the Myanmar authorities have failed to heed its persistent

pleas and those of the international community to release the 12 former parliamentarians-elect, along with all other political prisoners, in time for them to play a meaningful role in the political process that culminated in the recent elections; 2. Considers that the present Government's quick dismissal of an amnesty, and the reason invoked to justify the step, is not only insensitive to the plight of those who continue to suffer incarceration without any legal basis and in precarious conditions, but also fails to recognize that their release is an indispensable step towards promoting a meaningful process of dialogue in Myanmar; 3. Urges therefore the competent authorities of Myanmar to release, through an amnesty or otherwise, without any further delay and unconditionally the 12 former parliamentarians-elect, along with all other political prisoners; 4. Considers that this matter is of direct concern to the Parliament of Myanmar, which, if it is to act as the State institution representing the people and their interests, should first and foremost have their full enjoyment of civil and political rights at heart; 5. Urges the Parliament therefore to use its powers to the fullest in support of an amnesty or an effective alternative and to review, and where necessary repeal, existing laws and enact new legislation with a view to promoting respect for human rights; wishes to ascertain what, if any, steps the parliament is contemplating to this end; 6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent executive and parliamentary authorities of Myanmar and to the source; 7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 125th IPU Assembly (October 2011). * On 2 April 2008, MPU-Burma announced that Mr. Myint Thein died following his release, his health having greatly worsened in detention. HOME PAGE HUMAN RIGHTS MAIN AREAS OF ACTIVITY IPU STRUCTURE AND DOCUMENTS