Thursday, August 18, 2011

NLD delayed in taking legal-status case to UN Human Rights Council

Thursday, 18 August 2011 16:34 Kyaw Kha

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The National League for Democracy (NLD), which the new Burmese government has dissolved, has been delayed in presenting its legal-status case to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

NLD legal adviser Nyan Win Photo: Mizzima
Initially, the NLD said it would take its case to the UNHRC during the first week of August, but it has taken more time to compile detailed information about the party’s status during the 20 years it has existed under the former junta, said Nyan Win, an NLD legal adviser.

“Our party has been oppressed for more than 20 years and we are thoroughly compiling all the facts about the oppression so we have experienced the delay,” Nyan Win told Mizzima.

He said that there was no connection between the delay and the recent meetings between NLD General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi and government officials.

After the former junta and the new government rejected the opposition group’s repeated legal actions challenging the authorities’ dissolution of the party, Suu Kyi met with legal advisers Kyi Win and Nyan Win and decided to present the issue to the UN Human Rights Council.

Currently, the NLD is carrying out a legal analysis of the facts and the case will be ready soon, said NLD officials.

In other political matters, the UN human rights envoy to Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana will visit the country within a few days and the NLD will put forward its case in a meeting with Quintana, said Nyan Win.

The NLD boycotted the 2010 general election, the first since 1990, on the grounds that the 2008 Constitution was undemocratic and drawn up in favour of the former junta and that the 2010 general election would be unfair.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) officially dissolved the NLD on September 14, 2010, citing its failure to re-register as a political party.

After that, NLD legal appeals were rejected by various courts, prompting the appeal to the UNHRC.

Nyan Win said that the NLD would file the complaint under international human rights laws in an effort to bring the issue before the international community.

“We hope we can show that we are operating in accordance with the laws. We want it [the council] to make a resolution following the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN can say what is in accordance with international laws,” said Nyan Win. “But no organization including the UN has the power to overrule [the Burmese government]. We are just trying to reveal the truth.”

In Burma, the army launched coup in 1988. In the 1990 election, the NLD won in a landslide but the former junta refused to transfer power. Massive demonstrations followed, and the junta arrested many NLD members and supporters. Currently, there are more than 2,000 political prisoners in Burma and more than 600 are NLD members, according to Nyan Win.

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