Oral Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

03/07/2019
Statement

Madam Vice-President, Madam Rapporteur,

FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma welcome your oral update. We are deeply troubled by recent developments in Rakhine State.

The ongoing arbitrary detention of dozens of civilians in Rakhine and Chin States under the Unlawful Associations Act for their alleged ties to the Arakan Army has brought the total number of political prisoners to at least 170 – the highest number recorded under the current government.

Since April 2019, at least four Rakhine civilians have died in military custody and no one has been held responsible for those deaths.

The government’s unprecedented order to shut down the internet in parts of Rakhine and Chin States is also a disastrous move that makes it possible for security forces to act with impunity under the cover of a communication blackout.

The President Office’s blanket authorization to the military to use “all necessary force” to conduct counterinsurgency operations in Rakhine State must be condemned. This decision may result in the violation of multiple rules of customary international humanitarian law, to which Myanmar is bound.

Turning to the situation of Rohingya, we remain concerned by the government’s protracted failure to create the conditions that would allow the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of Rohingya refugee to Rakhine State.

We are dismayed by the release of the seven Tatmadaw soldiers who served less than one year of their 10-year prison sentence for the massacre in Inn Din Village. This shows, once again, that justice for the most serious crimes against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar remains non-existent.

Madam Vice-President, the human rights picture in Myanmar is grim.

We reiterate our calls for the opening of an OHCHR country office, which is urgently needed to ensure regular and independent monitoring of the human rights situation on the ground.

Thank you,

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