Friday, July 15, 2011

NLD to present its legal status case to the UN human rights group

Friday, 15 July 2011 21:07 Tun Tun

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese National League for Democracy party–claiming freedom of association is a universal human right–plans to take its legal status case to the United Nations Council of Human Rights (UNCHR).

NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi during
her recent pilgrimage to Bagan in
central Burma. Photo: Mizzima
According to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of association and organization is a universally recognized human right. However, the NLD has been threatened by the new government, which has called it an illegal organization. The NLD plans to submit its case within two weeks.

“According to these procedures, the case can be presented to the UNCHR when all the domestic legal remedies are exhausted in a certain country,” NLD spokesman and lawyer Nyan Win told Mizzima.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on September 14, 2010, that the NLD legal status as a political party had been nullified because it did not reregister with the UEC. The NLD lodged a complaint in court but it was dismissed. The NLD then filed a final appeal to the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw, but it was also dismissed.

The NLD argued that the government’s non-implementation of the results of the 1990 general election and the breaching of its promise and obligation to convene a parliament based on the result of that general election was a human rights violation. Last month, the Home Ministry sent a letter to the NLD warning it not to engage in political activities.

NLD General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi replied in a letter  saying only the Parliament can enact laws pertaining to political parties, hence, the NLD has not been dissolved.

Some hardliners who are frustrated with the UN role of democratization in Burma criticized the NLD move to present its case to UNCHR, but the Thai-based Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC) supported the move.

“If the council accepts the case, it can pass a resolution saying the government’s move is not in accordance with international laws. The Burmese Parliament cannot ignore such a resolution,” BLC Chairman Thein Oo told Mizzima. “The NLD is not an armed group working for an armed struggle. It only works to promote and propagate democracy and human rights in the country. It only works for development of ethnic rights. Such an organization should exist in our country. Under these circumstances, the UN has to accept this case and the argument.”

Nyan Win said that the UNCHR once took on similar cases in South Africa and other African countries.

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