Target: U Thein Sein, President of Myanmar
Goal: Free a man arrested after calling for an investigation into his daughter’s death
Shayam Brang Shawng (known as Brang Shawng) was understandably devastated after his young daughter was killed in a conflict between the Myanmar Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). However, his petitions for an investigation into her death have resulted not in justice but in his arrest and unfair trial. He faces seven years’ imprisonment if convicted. Sign the petition and demand justice for Brang Shawng and his daughter.
Fourteen-year-old Ja Seng Ing somehow became caught up in a confrontation between the Myanmar Army and the KIA in September 2012. Eyewitnesses report that she was fatally shot by members of the Myanmar Army, but the army contends that she was the victim of a KIA landmine that blew up around the same time.
Not long after his daughter’s death, Brang Shawng sent a letter to the president of Myanmar asking for an investigation into his daughter’s case. When he received no reply, he sent a letter to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC). He heard nothing else until several months later, when he was arrested and charged with making false allegations against the Myanmar Army, which had somehow gained access to his second letter.
In addition to the absurdity of the charges against him, Brang Shawng has been subjected to an unfair trial in which his access to lawyers has been limited, witnesses have been interfered with, and judges have been removed.
Myanmar is bound by international human rights standards and must honor the rights of all its citizens, particularly those of a grieving father who has done nothing more than seek justice on behalf of his deceased daughter. Sign the petition and demand that Brang Shawng be released and that the charges against him be dropped immediately.
I am writing to express my deep disgust and disappointment at the treatment of Brang Shawng, who is currently on trial for “making false allegations” against the Myanmar Army. The charges are ridiculous and his trial has been marred by irregularities and human rights violations. I demand that the charges against him be dropped and that he be released immediately and unconditionally.
Brang Shawng’s life was changed forever when his fourteen-year-old daughter, Ja Seng Ing, was killed in a confrontation between the Myanmar Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Multiple eyewitnesses reported that she was fatally shot by members of the Myanmar Army, although the army maintains that she was killed by a KIA landmine that exploded around the same time.
Not long after his daughter’s death, Brang Shawng sent a letter to your office requesting an investigation into his daughter’s death. When he received no reply, he brought his request to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC). His letter was somehow discovered by military personnel, who brought a complaint against him for making false allegations against the army.
Retaliation for concern over human rights is despicable and should not be an activity in which any modern nation engages. The charges against Brang Shawng are flimsy and vindictive, and his trial–which has been characterized by a lack of access to his lawyer, witness interference, and the removal of judges from the case–is a deplorable example of fair trial violations. All Brang Shawng wanted was justice for his daughter; instead, he has become the victim of further injustice.
I demand that the situation be remedied immediately. Drop all charges against Brang Shawng, release him unconditionally, and investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Ja Seng Ing.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brian Turner via Wikimedia Commons