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Activists rallied in front of Rangoon’s regional justice court on Sunday, calling for an investigation into corruption in Burma’s legal system.
The group, led by Htin Kyaw from the Movement for Democracy Current Force (MDCF), want judges to be held accountable for corruption.
“The regional courts are deteriorating. The justice system neglects this fact. So we are calling for an immediate investigation into corrupt judges,” said Htin Kyaw.
“The judiciary should release a statement admitting they have failed to meet the promises they made to the public,” he said.
In Burma judges are well known for accepting bribes and following instructions from government. The country does not have an independent Bar council and lawyers continue to face challenges, particularly in politically sensitive cases.
Former political prisoner Pyone Cho, told DVB last month that lawyers face intimidation and harassment.
“Especially when a case involves politicians, they set limitations for the lawyers so the defense can not do as much. They actually intimidate the lawyer by trying to lay charges on them,” he said.
Lawyer Ko Ni said the judiciary is not independent, which has made it easy for corruption to pervade.
”People are corrupt, not just because of their personal ethics but because of the system. In our system we fill it with employees whose mind is set to this system, and we don’t have any independent employees,” he said.
Last month an anti-corruption commission was formed, though some still question the impartiality of its 15 government-appointed members.
Corruption is certainly entrenched in Burma’s judicial system, but protests like this one show that many people are fed up with graft and are demanding change.