[Die rechtliche Verfolgung der Taten der PAD]
According to news from Thailand this week [of December 18], police are set to lay charges against protestors responsible for blockading parliament after the leader of the main opposition party finally succeeded in becoming prime minister without having to win an election.
News reports said that police were compiling video footage and other evidence of demonstrators that threw rocks at vehicles, assaulted passerby, damaged public property and kept parliamentarians trapped within the legislature.
These are serious offences and if the police have the evidence they need, they should certainly try to prosecute. But the crimes of this group pale by comparison to the scale of criminality demonstrated by their opponents, those who occupied Government House for three months from August, and the two main airports for a week from the end of November.
In fact, the number of serious crimes committed under the banner of the group calling itself the People’s Alliance for Democracy is so large that it’s hard to imagine police officers even having time to investigate the melee outside parliament on Monday. Continue reading
Posted in crime, police, politics, protest, rule of law, Thailand, UPI
Tagged Bangkok, Don Muang, Government House, PAD, Penal Code, People's Alliance for Democracy
The wedding video of a Burmese general’s daughter has proved a surprise hit. Footage of Thandar Shwe’s glittering marriage ceremony (right) has since last July been watched around the country on black market CDs, and globally on You Tube and news broadcasts. It has shocked viewers unaccustomed to seeing firsthand the sheer extravagance enjoyed by an otherwise inaccessible elite. In some versions, it has been cut to incorporate scenes of abject poverty in and around Rangoon’s streets, in contrast to those of diamonds and champagne behind its walls.
One person who had copies was Ko Than Htun. Acting on a tip-off, in March a team of police raided his house and charged him with possessing videos that had not been approved by the board of censors. He was initially released on bail but later rearrested. Shortly thereafter police claiming to have information from Than Htun arrived at the house of Ko Tin Htay, who lives in the same township. Entering without a search warrant, they found nothing. They called him to the station on a pretext and arrested him there. The following day the local ruling council met and decided that both men should be charged with intent to cause public alarm.
In court, the police produced a statement taken from Ko Tin Htay and used it against him as evidence, which is illegal. Absurdly, they also produced a photograph of Aung San, Burma’s independence hero and father of democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to demonstrate that Tin Htay is politically active: a point anyhow irrelevant to the charges against the accused. Nonetheless, both Than Htun and Tin Htay were found guilty and sentenced respectively to over four years and two years in prison with hard labor. They have since been transferred away from their hometown and reportedly denied access to their families.
Two features of the case point to how years of dictatorship have thoroughly corrupted criminal law and procedure in Burma.
Posted in Burma, courts, crime, human rights, human rights groups, Myanmar, police, rule of law, UN, UPI
Tagged Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi, Criminal Procedure Code, Friedrich Hayek, Hayek, Khin Win, Penal Code, Rangoon, Special Rapporteur, Supreme Court, Than Htun, Thandar Shwe, Tin Htay, Tin Kyi, Tin Nyein, Yangon, YouTube