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

13/03/2017
Déclaration

Mister Vice-President, Madam Special Rapporteur,

FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma thank you for your report and strongly support your call for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the credible allegations of serious human rights violations committed by Myanmar security forces against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State.

For many years, various official government investigations have failed to establish facts, identify perpetrators, and deliver justice in relation to the widespread and systematic human rights violations committed against Rohingya. The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry is vital to achieving these goals and preventing the commission of further atrocities.

While civil society has enjoyed a progressive expansion of its space, human rights defenders have nevertheless faced increased threats. The recent killings of activist Chit Pandaing, journalist Soe Moe Tun, and prominent Muslim lawyer Ko Ni reflect this trend. We urge the Myanmar authorities to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into these killings, bring those responsible to justice, and take urgent measures, including at the legislative level, to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders.

We also note with concern that an increase in foreign investment into Myanmar’s garment sector has not been accompanied by the development of a strong legal framework that protects worker rights. It is imperative that Myanmar authorities and garment factory owners alike, respect worker rights and stop the repression of labor activists.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

We welcome your recommendation to the government of Myanmar to introduce an official moratorium on executions and we call on the government to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

Finally, we are troubled by the fact that more than 170 political prisoners remain behind bars. They must all be released as a matter of priority.

Thank you.

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