Tuesday 26 February 2019
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the sentencing to death in Myanmar of two men for their role in the murder of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni.
Kyi Lin and Aung Win Zaw, respectively, were found guilty of firing the gun and helping in the murder of lawyer Ko Ni, who was killed in broad daylight at Yangon International Airport in January 2017.
Myanmar’s Penal code provides for the mandatory imposition of the death penalty in cases of premeditated murder. The IBAHRI Council Resolution on the Abolition of the death penalty, adopted on 15 May 2008, and the 2016 IBAHRI report ‘Forced to Kill: The Mandatory Death Penalty and its Incompatibility with Fair Trial Standards’ maintain that the mandatory death penalty is illegal under the justice system of international law. Furthermore, under domestic law, any procedure that obliges a court to impose the death penalty is inherently flawed.
The IBAHRI is concerned that the mandatory imposition of the death penalty in the recent verdict announced by Yangon Northern District Court, Myanmar, amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture.
The IBAHRI Council Resolution opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and called for its total abolition. In the interim, the IBAHRI Council has called on states to impose a moratorium on all death sentences.
While the IBAHRI cannot currently comment on the fairness of the trial, as it is to publish an in-depth report on the case later in the year, today’s statement is to register the human rights body’s complete opposition to the death penalty.
Notes to the Editor
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