1st June 2004
Urgent Action: Fear for safety of Burmese refugee,
Minn Kyaw (m) - refugee and news correspondent
Hakam is gravely concerned for the safety of Minn Kyaw
a Burmese and UNHCR mandate refugee who has been
abducted . An eye witness who were with him at the
time of the incident believes that he been abducted by
members of the Police Special Branch.
He was abducted on the 1st of June 2004 at 9.30am near
KLIA by 3 men who handcuffed him and covered his face
before taking him away. His wife was with him at the
time Minn Kyaw a Burmese human rights activist as well
as a BBC correspondent was on his way to KLIA to cover
the arrival of the Burmese Prime Minister Gen. Khin
Nyunt to Malaysia. Minn Kyaw is a recognised refugee
by UNHCR who married a local and in process of
applying for Permanent Residence in Malaysia.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please copy & send the appeal letter below to the
Security Minister by Fax : 03-88868014
Deputy Internal Security Minister
Blok D1, Parcel D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Putrajaya,
1st June 2004
CONCERN FOR THE SAFETY OF BURMESE ACTIVIST MINN KYAW
I would like to express grave concern for the safety
of Minn Kyaw, who was abducted on the 1st of June
2004. I urge the authorities to make every effort to
clarify and make public his whereabouts.
I also call on the authorities to ensure that all
members of the security forces are made aware of the
legitimate role of human rights defenders and their
responsibility to protect them under the UN
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of
Individuals and Organs of Society to Promote and
Protect Universally-recognized Human Rights and
forward this appeal to your mailing lists.
Burmese news editor abducted
12:45pm Tue Jun 1st, 2004
Ko Minn Kyaw Minn, a Burmese news editor married to a
Malaysian, was abducted while on his way to the
Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning to
cover the arrival of Burmese Prime Minister General
Ko Minn Kyaw Minn, better known as Minn Kyaw, who was
in the car with his wife Yassra, was forced off the
road by two vehicles, a white saloon with three men
and a white van on the Sepang highway at about 9.30am.
"We noticed the two vehicles tailing us when all of a
sudden, the car sped up, overtook and slightly knocked
into our vehicle forcing us to the side of the
highway. The van remained behind us," Yassra Shahril
told malaysiakini a while ago.
Handcuffed and hooded
According to Yassra, her husband was dragged out of
their car by the men who did not identify themselves.
"A man just forced open our car door and shouted 'we
want Ming Kyaw"
"This man who was quite big and looking like a
bouncer, roughly dragged my husband out of the car,
handcuffed him and covered his face with a hood!"
The Sepang police station, when contacted, said they
have not made any arrests this morning.
Threatening phone call
Yassra has been advised by a lawyer friend to make a
police report and contact UNHCR to report the incident
and seek assistance from them.
However, about 90 minutes after the incident, she
received a phone call from what she claimed to be the
same man who abducted her husband threatening her
not to make a police report.
Yassra claimed that the 'abduction' could be the work
of the Special Branch as her husband has been a social
activist in Burma.
Minn Kyaw, with UN refugee status in Malaysia, is the
editor of a website called Burma Media Link which
supports detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.