Myanmar Situation Update (7-13 March 2022)
The hearing of alleged election fraud in 2020 Myanmar general election took place on 11 March 2022 in Naypyitaw at junta courts that the deputy director-general of the junta-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) has been questioned by the defense lawyers during cross-examination. Media reported that there are 22 witnesses for the prosecution including the complainant Aung Myo Lwin, the director-general of the junta-appointed UEC. The junta charged ousted Myanmar state counselor Aung San Su Kyi, President Win Myint and Minister of the Ministry of Union Government Office Min Thu under article 130-A with possible imprisonment up to three years. The sentencing is set for May 2022.
The Arakan League for Democracy (ALD) said that that party will not attend the UEC investigation process as UEC has informed them to attend the investigation in Naypyitaw. The ALD party spokesman said the party will face the process if UEC come to their party office instead. In February, Shan National League Democracy (SNLD) expressed the same concerned over the UEC call and said party would accept a request from the UEC to visit the party’s main headquarters instead the party visit UEC.
The junta revoked the Myanmar citizenship of 11 prominent including ministers of the National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG) and the prominent activists under the article 67 of the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law. The NUG minister of human rights Aung Myo Min, foreign minister Zin Mar Aung, minister of International cooperation Dr Sasa and prominent activist Min Ko Naing are among them.
116 Myanmar civil society organizations urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to explore all possible routes to seek accountability for the Myanmar junta through the establishment of a jurisdiction for atrocity crimes mandated by the UN. CSOs also have expressed their disappointment over the resolution of the UNHRC on 24 March 2021 and Special Session resolution on 12 February 2021.
In a virtually held press conference, the Arakan Army (AA) expressed the AA’s neutrality and stated that the AA and ULA does not recognise the junta as Myanmar’s legitimate government. The AA spokesman also emphasized that there is no cooperation between the NUG and either the AA or the ULA. In recent months the tension between the AA and junta forces have increased significantly and fighting has also been reported in Rakhine state.
Than Htaik Aung, a news editor of Mizzima detained on 19 March 2021 in Naypyitaw while he was covering the trial of a senior leader of the ousted NLD government who was charged under Article 505 (A) of the Penal Code at the Zabuthiri Township Court in Naypyitaw after almost a year. He was arrested on March 19, 2021 along with a local BBC reporter in the capital while covering the trial of a senior leader of the ousted National League for Democracy. The BBC journalist was released three days later. Since the coup, a total of 121 journalists have been detained by the junta with 47 of them still under detention. Article 505 (A) has been used as the most common tool to charge the journalists so far. The junta also charged 4 media outlets under the article 505 (A) and revoked the licenses of 9 media outlets.
As of 4 March 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that 1,652 people have been killed by the junta. 9,588 people are currently under detention. 84 have been sentenced to death and 1,973 are evading arrest warrants.
Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
14 March 2022, 11:30 am (Bangkok time)
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