JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students filing for JURIST in Myanmar reported Saturday that an arrest warrant has now been issued for U Tun Kyi, the outspoken Mandalay lawyer who publicly denounced the military coup as illegal in videos posted to the internet in early February, shortly after the army deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. U Tun Kyi is one of several pro-democracy lawyers sought by the authorities. He is charged under Section 505(a) of the military-revised Myanmar Penal Code prohibiting (among other things) spreading fear or false news and “any attempt to hinder, disturb, damage the motivation, discipline, health and conduct of the military personnel and government employees and cause their hatred, disobedience, or disloyalty toward the military and the government.” U Tun Kyi’s whereabouts are unknown, but JURIST’s correspondents say that he is not in detention.
Earlier this week, the UK Law Society contacted the Myanmar ambassador in London expressing alarm at the arbitrary arrest, detention and enforced disappearance (to avoid arrest) of several other Myanmar lawyers in the wake of the military coup, contrary to international human rights standards and protocols relating to the protection of lawyers and access to justice by detainees.
Commenting Saturday on recent developments and the general situation of the rule of law in Myanmar, one law student reporting for JURIST said Saturday:
As we are law students, we shouldn’t ignore what is happening in our own country. Because the law is the most essential part in a country. Like a quote, ‘When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.” So, I don’t want to be a lawyer in an unjust country. That’s why we are working for the country by participating as much as we can from all sides. Just like posting and trending on social media, asking for help from experts and the United Nations for help from time to time. We are all struggling with injustice but we will continue to fight against the inhumane people in the country until democracy is achieved.