Myanmar: As the atrocities mount, so must the momentum towards ensuring accountability

Statement at the 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar

June 2022

Delivered by Kyaw Win, Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)

Thank you, Mr. President and Special Rapporteur.

Since the attempted coup on 1 February 2021 by the Myanmar military junta, the criminalisation of activists and journalists on trumped up charges of incitement, sedition and terrorism by secret military tribunals has persisted. Human rights groups have documented the increasing use of torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment of political prisoners in detention.

Rohingya and Muslim minorities have also been subjected to tightened restrictions on their fundamental freedoms and are increasingly at risk of being subjected to further atrocity crimes. The junta and its supporters continue to use divisive and hateful rhetoric aimed at marginalising and inciting violence against the Rohingya and Muslim minorities.

The junta continues to deny the Rohingya the ability to live free and dignified lives by further restricting their freedom of movement. Every year, the junta has arrested and detained nearly a thousand Rohingya people, including women and children, for fleeing oppression in Arakan state. A safe and dignified return for Rohingya refugees will not be possible while these conditions are in place.

Despite previous findings by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar showing widespread and systematic human rights violations, some amounting to crimes against humanity and genocide, impunity remains nearly absolute. As long as this remains so, unyielding repression of activists and oppression of minority communities will continue unabated.

We call on the UN and its member states to take all possible measures to hold General Min Aung Hlaing, other senior military leaders and members of SAC accountable for their crimes and to cut off the junta from all revenue and weapons streams which allow it to continue its genocidal operations.

We ask the Special Rapporteur what immediate actions he suggests for States to protect those on the ground and further accountability.

We thank you.

Civic space in Myanmr is rated as "Repressed" by the CIVICUS Monitor