Military has tightly controlled judiciary pillar in Myanmar, making unfair convictions on political prisoners, according to the report of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) on 7 August.
AAPP’s ‘The Flow of Injustice’ report said that there is no fair and independent justice at the special courts in prisons due to fully control of military regime although the detainees have access to their defence lawyers.
This interview with veteran lawyerU Kyi Myint is about ongoing situations of judicial system and its major problems.
TLT: The report of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said that the judicial sector of Myanmar has lacked justice. What is its ongoing situation?
U Kyi Myint: Since the coup, judiciary system has severely deteriorated, with unfair convictions in maximum penalty and with the lack of defending rights. So, AAPP’s report is true.
TLT: Defendants have lost their rights at the courts. Why is it so? Can you remark on the failure of judicial system.?
U Kyi Myint: Pro-military judges, military veteran judges and civilian judges all favour the accusations of plaintiff (military council). They do not consider the response of defendants and witnesses. Although they were likely to listening to defences in the cases of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint, but these were not consider in making convictions. Especially, lower court do not listen to the defences. They are interested in the complaints of plaintiff and police, as well as evidence of police. After examining these, the judges asked whether the defendant committed offence or not. In some cases, the judges also threaten that if the latter confessed the accusation, their penalty would be lesser. And if they not, the sentence would be the maximum. Although the defendants agreed to confess the accusations, the judges make the maximum penalty. About only one year sentence was reduced. The defendants will suffer the maximum penalty despite having concrete proof.
TLT: What is your remark on the existing judicial sector?
U Kyi Myint: Until NUG, NUCC, PDF and EAO cannot remove the military dictatorship, the judicial system of the country will not improve.