Michael D condemns Burmese court ruling on exiled journalist

Dep Michael D Higgins.

Dep Michael D Higgins.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights must investigate why the Burmese courts have imposed a 20 year gaol sentence on a journalist.

This is the view of Galway West TD and Labour party president Michael D Higgins who was speaking on the case of Hla Hla Win.

Ms Win, a video journalist who has worked with exiled media, notably the Oslo based Democratic Voice of Burma, has been sentenced to 20 years in gaol by a court acting on behalf of the country’s ruling military junta.

“This ruling is yet another example of Burma/Myanmar’s flagrant disregard for basic human right,” Dep Higgins said. “Her treatment is utterly outrageous but sadly just the latest abhorrent action by an entirely discredited regime.”

According to Reporters without Borders there are currently 13 journalists and bloggers detained in Burma and Dep Higgins said it is “crucial” the international community “stand as one against this latest example of the violations commonplace in Burma”.

The Burmese courts have also attracted condemnation for placing democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years.

The EU and UN have imposed sanctions on the Burmese authorities and Dep Higgins said these must remain in place. He is also calling on The International Committee of Jurists, as well as Frontline and Amnesty International, to take an “active role” in seeking to investigate the case of Hla Hla Win.

Dep Higgins said Labour would be “happy to join with them” in any action they take.

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