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UN Rights Expert Calls For ‘urgent And Decisive’ Action To Support People Of Myanmar


The United Nations independent human rights
expert on Myanmar has called on the Security Council for
“decisive and unified action” against the military
junta, including targeted sanctions and an arms
embargo.

In a news
release
on Thursday, Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews also
urged the Council for a referral of the situation in Myanmar
to the International Criminal
Court
“to investigate and prosecute atrocities
committed since the coup on 1 February and those committed
against ethnic groups in years prior”.

“Every day
the military junta in Myanmar unleashes more brutality on
peaceful protesters who are standing up for justice, human
rights and democracy, defending their nation against this
illegal military coup”, he said.

“While the future
of Myanmar will be determined by its people, the
international community must act urgently and decisively to
support them.”

The UN human rights office (OHCHR)
has verified that, as of Thursday, at least 54 people have
been killed in protests since the military takeover last
month. Hundreds more have been wounded, and over 1,700
arbitrarily arrested and detained.

The independent
expert’s call comes ahead of a closed door meeting of the
Security
Council
, on Friday, on the situation in the country. The
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Christine
Schraner Burgener, is expected to brief
the meeting
that is scheduled to start
at 10 am (EST; GMT-5).

‘Deny recognition of the
military junta’

The Special Rapporteur also called
on Myanmar’s humanitarian and development donors to work
directly with local civil society and aid organizations
whenever possible, to “directly support populations rather
than through centralized mechanisms that are now controlled
by the junta”.

He urged Member States “to deny
recognition of the military junta as the legitimate
government representing the people of Myanmar precisely
because they are not”.

Mr. Andrews also praised the
people of Myanmar in their movement for democracy and human
rights.

“Many have seen the gruesome photos and
videos of people being killed or beaten or brutally arrested
by police and army personnel on the streets of Myanmar …
despite these attacks, and the grave danger that they face,
the people of Myanmar continue to rise up as a diverse yet
powerfully unified whole”, he said.

“I sincerely
hope that the international community will rise to the
occasion of this moment of history by following the lead and
the inspiration of the people of Myanmar. And, that justice,
dignity and human rights will finally prevail for
all.”

UN
News | Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights in Myanmar.

Detailing
the rights situation in Myanmar

Also on Thursday, Mr.
Andrews issued his
report to the Human Rights Council
, in which he detailed
how the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, illegally
overthrew the civilian government and proceeded
to attack
the people of Myanmar by committing the crimes
of murder, assault and arbitrary detention.

In the
report, the Special Rapporteur also provided information on
human rights violations preceding the coup, and showed that
throughout the 2020, the military violated the International Court of
Justice
’s order to
protect the Rohingya
from further killings, assaults,
torture and other crimes.

It also noted that
“despite the order, Myanmar security forces continued to
murder, torture, and fire indiscriminately on Rohingya
civilians, while continuing to deny them equal access to
citizenship rights”, the news release added.

The
report is scheduled to be discussed by the Human
Rights Council
– the highest UN intergovernmental
forum on matters related to human rights – on 11
March.

The Special Rapporteur

Special
Rapporteurs are part of the Special
Procedures
of the Human Rights Council. Independent of
any government or organization, they work on a voluntary
basis. They are not UN staff members and do not receive a
salary.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human
rights in Myanmar
was established by the then Commission
on Human Rights in 1992. It was broadened in 2014 and
2016.

© Scoop Media

 



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