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

12/03/2021
Statement

Madam President, Mister Special Rapporteur,

FIDH and its member organizations ALTSEAN-Burma and Women Peace Network condemn the military junta’s serious and systematic violations of fundamental human rights following its illegal seizure of power on 1 February. We urge the junta to immediately release all individuals, including journalists, activists, medics, and government officials, who have been arbitrarily detained since the coup.

We are appalled by the indiscriminate use of lethal force by the junta’s security forces against unarmed peaceful protesters and bystanders, which has already resulted in dozens of civilian deaths. Female protesters have been subjected to sexual violence during arrest and while in custody.

There is already abundant video and photographic documentation of criminal conduct by military and police in response to the anti-coup protests.

Protesters have been killed as part of a systematic attack directed against the civilian population, with knowledge of the attack. As such, this conduct qualifies as a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Make no mistake: no accountability will ever be established at the national level for this crime.

This is why it’s now imperative that the Human Rights Council invites the UN Security Council to refer the situation of Myanmar to the ICC under Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute.

Furthermore, the Council should call upon business enterprises, including transnational corporations active or investing in Myanmar, to sever all economic and financial ties with the military.

The time for action is now. To quote 23-year-old Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing’s post on Facebook the night before he was fatally shot by police in Yangon: “How many dead bodies the UN need to take action?”

Thank you.

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