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My Expert Evidence and Analysis for Immigration Tribunal

My Expert Evidence and Analysis for Immigration Tribunal

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My Expert Evidence and Analysis for Immigration Tribunal
My Expert Evidence and Analysis for Immigration Tribunal

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Published by: rohingyablogger on Apr 20, 2013
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IN THE UPPER TRIBUNAL OF THE IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM CENTRE AA/02803/2009 TS-v-UK BORDER AGENCY INDEX OF COUNTRY BUNDLE 3
Page Description Foot note toDr Zarni’sReport1-27 Report of Marcia Robiou 22.1.1328-54 Report of Dr Maung Zarni 16.11.1155-67 Transcript of Conference Call with Dr Maung Zarni 11.2.1368-70 Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks on Kachin State 17.1.13 171-73 Press TV: Rohinga Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakine state face genocide: OIC 17.11.12 274-76 Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction, Despite Criticism 6.9.11 377-78 The Telegraph: Burma Copper Mine Protest Broken up by Riot Police 19.2.13 479-94 Land Grabbing in Dawei September 2012 595 Monks Protest in Burmese Cities over Mine Crackdown 12.12.12 696-98 Burma: Riot Police Move in to Break up Copper Mine Protests 29.11.12 699-102 List of Injured in Copper Mine Protest 7103 Kachin Rebels in Burma Lose Key Hilltop 26.1.13 8104 Myanmar Launches Cyberspace Attacks 20.9.08 9105-107 E-Mails of Reporters in Myanmar are Hacked 10.2.13 9108 UN: Myanmar Tortured Kachin 17.2.13 10109-111 Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma 31.5.12 10112-113 Burma Initiates Committee Scrutinizing the Political Prisoners Left Behind 7.2.13 10114-117 Google and Facebook Remain Tentative in Myanmar 11.2.13 11118-119 Govt Slams US Kachin Statement 28.1.13 12120 Voice of America: Burma Protests US Embassy Criticism 26.1.13 13121-133 Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory 4.12.12 14134-135 Video Shows Burma Military Targeting Kachin Rebels 2.1.13 15136-137 Myanmar Military Admits to Airstrikes on Kachin Rebels 2.1.13 16138-140 Burma Observers Participate in US Led Military Exercises in Thailand 10.2.13 17141-142 Burma Blogger Jailed for 20 Years 11.11.08 18143-144 Burma: In Memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, a Courageous Fighter Against Inhuman Abuse 6.1.13 19
 
 
1
Expert Report Prepared for: Gillman-Smith Lee SolicitorsBy: Ms. Marcia RobiouEXPERT REPORT FOR THE COUNTRY GUIDANCE CASE OF TSReference: Annex A (attached): Ms. Marcia Robiou biographic informationIntroduction
 You requested an Expert Report in relation to the Burma Test Case of TS. I have read through thefollowing documents that you provided:a) Statement of Factsb) Ambit of Burma Country Guidance Case and list of questions to the Expert
 Ambit of Burma Country Guidance Case
1.
 
 What is the risk to a Burmese citizen who has taken part in demonstrations in the UK against thecurrent Burmese regime, upon his return to Burma?2.
 
 What is the relevance to the assessment in (1) above of someone who came to the adverseattention of the authorities before leaving Burma but was nevertheless able to travel out of thecountry on a valid Burmese passport?3.
 
 To what extent do the Burmese Authorities distinguish between returnees from the UK whohave no real political commitment but attend demonstrations to bolster a claim and those whoattend demonstrations but have a genuine commitment to the opposition cause?4.
 
 Taking account of answers of 1-3 above, to what extent is the country guidance given in TL still valid as an assessment of risks to Burmese failed asylum seekers returned after making aprotection claim based as oppositionists whether in Burma or during their stay in the UK?5.
 
Do the Burmese authorities distinguish between those who are perceived to have no real politicalor oppositionist commitment but who attend demonstrations to bolster a claim to asylum andthose who attend political demonstrations out of a genuine commitment to the anti-regimecause?6.
 
If the answer to (3) above is yes what impact does this have on the risk on return?
 The following are my answers to the questions for Experts:
1.
 
Please characterise the mind set of the Burmese regime, in particular its attitude to (i)criticism of the regime (ii) displays of opposition or defiance (iii) the opposition in exile;(iv) foreign influences generally.
1.1
 
 The current Burmese regime headed by President Thein Sein is a quasi-civilian regime at itsbest and a military authoritarian regime at its worst. Burma is dominated by an authoritarianmindset in that there is no respect for the rule of law – crime is simply what the authorities
 
 
2
say it is. The retention of political power within the small circle of the military elite is crucialfor the Thein Sein administration.1.2
 
Characteristics commonly exhibited in authoritarian regimes remain. This includes statecontrol over media, heavy-handed policing and arbitrary detention, and deep ethnocentrism.1.3
 
 The military regime in Burma, which held absolute power for 5 decades, appears to be slowly opening, giving rise to what appears to be “soft authoritarianism.” Even though one party remains in control, small-scale reforms such as legalizing protests and increased space forpolitical parties to operate have taken place under TheinSein. The people of Burma havebeen testing the limits of these reforms by calling attention to social injustices and problemsthrough public processions or the Internet. As a result, there is a greater sense of freedomthat was not existent under the previous military regimes.1.4
 
Even so, there is still no guarantee or respect for basic human rights. People are arrested andtortured whenever they are deemed a threat to the state. Genuine free and fair elections haveyet to take place in Burma. The court and judicial system are apparatuses of the ruling party. According to Freedom House’s 2012 Burma report, “Burma remained one of the mostrepressive countries in Asia
1
.” Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Burma asnumber 7 in their top 10 most censored countries report from May 2012
2
.1.4.1 Criticism of the regime is not tolerated.1.4.1.1 Any legal reforms that appear to protect and promote freedom of expression and assembly are undermined by vague and broadprovisions that make it clear criticism of the regime is off limits. Forexample, the Law Relating to Peaceful Assembly and PeacefulProcession allows up to 6 months imprisonment if a protestor givesspeeches that contains false information or says anything that couldhurt the state or Union
3
. This punishment is applicable to those whohave already been granted a permit to protest.1.4.1.2 Nyi Nyi Lwin (formerly known as U Gambira), a dissident monk whorecently disrobed, was detained shortly after voicing criticism of theregime in March 2012
4
. He was taken from his monastery in themiddle of the night without any explanation of what laws he hadbreached. He was re-arrested in early December 2012
5
. Such examplescast serious doubt over whether the Thein Sein administration isserious about implementing genuine political reform.1.4.1.3 Only 6 years ago the military regime viewed humanitarian aid andcharity workers as domestic critics. In the wake of Cyclone Nargis,one of the world’s worst natural disasters that killed more than140,000 people, Burma authorities arrested aid workers, giving themharsh sentences. Six volunteers received sentences ranging from 10 to
1
2
3
For a legal analysis on the assembly bill, please visitMyanmar: The Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and PeacefulProcession,” Article 19, 2012.
4
 Burmese protest leader monk Gambira taken away .” BBC News. 10 February 2012.
 
5
 AAPP Condemns the Re-Arrest of AshinGambira (aka) NyiNyiLwin,” Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
 
(Burma), 3 December 2012

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