[3] Burma Penal Code, art. [5] ) [22] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 1 of 1993. In 1976, army captain Ohn Kyaw Myaint was sentenced to death for allegedly attempting to assassinate General Ne Win, the ruler at the time. A/73/589/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2018. [17] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor. Under Articles 353 and 373 of the 2008 Constitution, an individual cannot be deprived of life except in execution of a law existing at the time of the offense. The Burmese regime has used the death penalty as a tool to enforce their unjust power throughout their rule. A/HRC/14/NGO/40, May 17, 2010. PO Box 72054 [9], Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.Individuals who commit drug offenses by “making use of the influence or power of a public servant” are punishable by death. Lowy Institute. [2] The 1947 Constitution contained no direct protection of the right to life; the 1974 junta-imposed Constitution also contained no such protection. Accordingly Myanmar is considered to be on the list of abolitionist in practice. 22-23, No. [1] Burma Penal Code, art. [26] Burma Penal Code, art. [27] Burma Code of Criminal Procedure, art. Exact data on the number of persons on death row in Myanmar is unavailable. 18-19, U.N. Doc. [31]. [1], Murder.Premeditated murder is punished by death. [7] The discrepancy in reported death sentences and commutations suggests incomplete information on the true number of death sentences issued per year. The 2008 constitution, which will be effective upon the next election (projected for November 2010), [16] provides for appellate review of Constitutional questions by the Supreme Court and for the ultimate jurisdiction of the Constitutional Tribunal on constitutional questions. Stay up to date and learn about key human rights issues in Myanmar . [5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Burma, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/135987.htm, Mar. 31, 2004; ECPM, La peine de mort dans le monde—La peine de mort : Myanmar (Birmanie), http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/fiche-pays.php?pays=MMR, last accessed Oct. 12, 2010; Burma Penal Code, arts. Prosecutions for political crimes in Myanmar are arbitrary and both overbroad and under-inclusive; the junta-controlled courts pronounce sentences against individuals who have not been shown to have any connection to violent insurgent attacks underlying prosecutions; these same courts do not entertain actions against junta personnel who commit acts of violence against civilians and participate in systematic state terror, including torture, rape, displacement, and lethal violence, against the population. The ineffectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent against murder was highlighted. 95-96, U.N. Doc. Individuals who run afoul of the junta’s interests may face capital charges for high treason and are, in practice, stripped of any meaningful safeguards against arbitrary deprivation of life by the junta. 6, 2016. [23] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. [3]. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Oct. 12, 2010. 28, 2010; U.S. Dept. [6], Drug Possession.Possession is presumed to be in the course of trafficking if the offender possesses scheduled quantities of drugs. [11], Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.Abetting a successful mutiny is punishable by death. It was also used throughout the colonial era. Despite being a majority Buddhist country, Myanmar’s legal system endorses the death penalty for certain offences. [25]. Reportedly, no one has been executed since the 1980s. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. Amnesty Intl., Myanmar—The Administration of Justice: Grave and Abiding Concerns, p. 20-25, ASA 16/001/2004, Mar. [8] Myanmar Anti Human Trafficking Law, art. [5] The penalty is mandatory if the offender is a recidivist, part of a criminal organization, uses arms or explosives, uses children under the age of 16 or uses the influence of a public servant in carrying out the offense. [1] U.S. Dept. 30, 2004. [1]. [9], Mainly, death sentences over the past decade have been pronounced for political crimes, many of which have been non-violent or even non-criminal exercises of free speech. Prosecution for political crimes cannot be brought except by order of the executive. [13] Burma Penal Code, art. [13] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor. According to a 2017 report by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, 709 prisoners in 26 prisons across the country have had death sentences commuted to life imprisonment. [8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 17, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Burma, Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/135987.htm, Mar. [2], Other Offenses Resulting in Death.Perjury resulting in execution of an innocent defendant is punishable by death. Comments.In February 2018, the government of Myanmar released a new National Drug Control Policy incorporating international best practices outlined in the 2016 Outcome Document of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs. In addition to the state-sanctioned legal system, there is evidence that the death penalty has recently been issued or carried out in non-state trials. [6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. 1, 1898. Death penalty possible in Myanmar cannabis farm case. A member of the armed group, called the Shan State Progress Party, said Wednesday the death penalty was "the only option" for the 30-year-old, who … [18] Myanmar Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Law, arts. 73rd session, 55th plenary meeting, p. 32, U.N. Doc. 194, No. Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, generally, U.N. Doc. [1] The current status of Myanmar’s constitution is unclear—the 2008 Constitution does not go into effect until elections scheduled for 2010. consultative status, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. 307, No. 12, 2018. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Oct. 12, 2010. [13] However, Myanmar has opposed United Nations resolutions for a global moratorium on the death penalty. Myanmar is a de facto abolitionist country; there has not been an execution since 1988. Information current as of: February 27, 2011, Abolitionist de facto. [9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 18, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. [21] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. 31, 2004. [1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. Although the death penalty has reportedly not been applied since the 1980s, [17] the statutory language for certain offenses mandates the death penalty, [18] and we did not find any universal provisions that permit courts to exercise discretion in such cases. 3, Jul. Myanmar’s junta has not carried out executions since 1988 and, despite continuing to pronounce death sentences, has made statements to Amnesty International that it will not carry out executions. Appeals lie to the immediately superior court. [3] All offenders in a gang robbery, where one of the robbers commits murder, are punishable by death. 12, 2018. [9] U.S. Dept. [8], Reportedly, attorneys of defendants facing common criminal charges (such as for murder) are given an opportunity to prepare a defense and access government evidence; the relevance of quality legal representation in political cases is usually limited to sentencing, as guilt is pre-determined. [13] of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Burma, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/135987.htm, Mar. [14] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. 11, 2010. A/HRC/15/NGO/15, Aug. 22, 2010; U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Joint written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status and the Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a non-governmental organization in special [24] Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Oct. 11, 2010. [21], Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.Drug trafficking, import or export, facilitation of same, or production of drugs carries the mandatory death penalty if the offender is a recidivist, part of a criminal organization, uses arms or explosives, uses children under the age of 16 or uses the influence of a public servant in carrying out the offense. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Oct. 12, 2010. human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, paras. Lowy Institute, © Copyright 2021 December 24, 2020. He was executed a few months later. Myanmar’s troops frequently clash with ethnic rebel groups in Shan. [18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. The president has the power to pardon the death sentence, which he later did. [4] Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, arts. 30, 2010. 302, No. [3] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of 45 of 1860, May 1, 1861. [20] Burma Penal Code, art. 45 of 1860, May 1, 1861. [15] Myanmar’s courts do not currently generate independent jurisprudence. [2] Note—now effective. GlobalSecurity.org, Burma Insurgency, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/burma.htm, last accessed Oct. 13, 2010 (discussing the general situation, including terrorism and totalitarian rule and suppression of free and fair election results, as well as prosecutions for treason); Jacob Baynham, Burma's largest rebel army battles increase in opium production, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/15/MNT3U393N.DTL, Jan. 15, 2010; Shan Herald, Shan Rebel Leader Warns Burma Army, http://www.shanland.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3014, Apr. 45 of 1860, May 1, 1861. [4], Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.Drug trafficking, import or export, facilitation of same, or production, distribution, and sale of drugs is punishable by death. [23] Myanmar Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Law, arts. 353, 373, 2008. VIII, 2008. The website of the Burma Lawyers’ Council was a useful starting point in researching the state and development of the law in Myanmar, a subject that is somewhat unclear: http://www.blc-burma.org/. A/HRC/13/48, Mar. international events from experts at the Lowy Institute and [10] By the end of 2018, there were 9 new death sentences. [6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, p. 7, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. [12] Burma Penal Code, art. [6], The U.S. Department of State reports that in capital cases defendants are legally guaranteed an attorney at state expense; the context of the discussion suggests that for common criminal offenses (such as for murder) this right is probably respected. He … [23] Reports from some resources suggest that the Law on the Judiciary allows for broad exceptions to these procedures. In 1993, the National Convention laid out 103 constitutional principles, none of which directly addressed the right to life; by 2007, the Convention had not yet developed any principle addressing the right to life. Skip To Main Content Amnesty International Amnesty International Menu Main menu Main menu CLOSE Who We Are How we're run Jobs & internships What We Do Countr The perpetrators of Ko Ni’s death may have had a chilling effect on democratisation, but the death penalty is unable to undo the major political setback his assassination triggered. [17] The constitution most recently in effect was a 1974 junta-imposed document; by 1993, a new junta (which seized power in 1988) began promulgating through a National Convention proposed principles that form the basis of the 2008 Constitution. The death penalty would further enhance the culture of violence, impunity and death we are now experiencing. [29] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 10, 2019. Published A rebel ethnic minority group that unofficially controls a swathe of eastern Myanmar has sentenced a man to death for the kidnap, rape and murder of a six-year-old girl. 15, 2008. A member of the armed group, the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), said Wednesday the death penalty was the only option for the 30-year-old, who assaulted the girl before throwing her body off a cliff. Shan State is … [20] In the 2008 Constitution, this power is retained by the President, who may grant a pardon or, in accordance with the recommendations of the National Defense and Security Council, grant an amnesty. 22-23, No. 0 Number of Executions in . Because these ethnic groups represent the last remnants of armed resistance to the illegal junta in Myanmar, individuals from these groups may be prosecuted for treason or terrorism. [11] 31, 2004. During this time, the court hearings generated controversy after supporters for the defendants attended court and implicitly threatened the judges. For example, some ethnic armed areas, such as parts of Karen State, have their own forms of criminal justice. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016. [15] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource 26, No. There have also been reports of tribunals of the Kachin Independence Organisation in the Wa Region handing down the death penalty. A/HRC/15/NGO/15, Aug. 22, 2010; U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Joint written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status and the Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, p. 2-3, U.N. Doc. [5] Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, art. 27, 2012. [21] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. These trials are often conducted without legal representation and with few safeguards for the accused. events, published daily by the [6] Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 2008. In application, Myanmar’s junta-controlled courts have expanded the scope of the death-eligible offense of high treason. A court in Myanmar on Tuesday formally charged Todoroki and two local co-workers … [28] We checked the laws of Myanmar (Burma) as available through the Burma Lawyers’ Council at http://www.blc-burma.org/. 11, 2010. 30, 2010. They are the two Burmese laborers Guo Zuolin and Guo Wen Zuotun who were sentenced to death in Thailand for suspected turtle island murder. The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Myanmar is scheduled for January 2011: http://www.upr-info.org/-Myanmar-.html. 396, No. Amnesty International observes that pre-trial detention is marked by torture and denial of access to attorneys; individuals may be charged and tried on the same day for a serious offense, denying counsel adequate time to prepare a defense; that trials are often perfunctory; that courts make use of evidence obtained by torture; that trials are conducted in secret; and that courts are not independent. 20, 22-23, 26, No. 368, Jul. 28, 2010; Encyclopedia of the Nations, Myanmar, http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Myanmar.html, last accessed Sep. 13, 2010. Of violence, impunity and death Sentences Monitor Myanmar Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Law arts. Be brought except by order of the death penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S Maung was... 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