onsdag 19. mai 2021

The Danger of Defending the Defenseless in Myanmar

In broad daylight, Daw My Zun Ko, a female lawyer providing free services for young abductees in Myanmar, was beaten and abducted in Mandalay. For Myanmar’s legal community, such arbitrary arrests are something they must reckon with on a daily basis.

“Even before the coup, we have been working to ensure that the basic legal rights of every person are respected in case of an arrest or judicial accusation. This has become even more challenging in recent times,” says Miriam Chinnappa, who heads a large-scale criminal justice program implemented by International Bridges of Justice (IBJ) in Myanmar.

Since 2013, IBJ has pioneered efforts to secure legal aid in this country, by training hundreds of lawyers, providing early legal representation, and raising rights awareness among the people. Presently, it is one of the few international organizations remaining in Myanmar, and its lawyers continue to engage with the criminal justice system to open entry points for people to access justice.