11 May marks 100 days since the military coup in Myanmar. Almost 800 people – including children- have been killed by the Myanmar security forces. Over 3,800 people have been arrested – including journalists, doctors, students, activists, community leaders, political opponents and critics of the military.
How can this bloody repression in Myanmar end? Only when we urge governments and businesses across the world to join together to deny the military the means to continue abusing the people of Myanmar and when perpetrators are held accountable for human rights atrocities.
For decades, the military has ruled the 54 million people in Myanmar through violence and cruelty, committing atrocities whilst exploiting the country’s natural resources for personal gain.
In 2015, a civilian government was elected, although the military still held onto a lot of power. But on 1 February 2021, the day a new parliament would take office after the 2020 elections, the Myanmar military seized power once more after detaining elected leaders.
An estimated 1 million people from hundreds of towns flooded the streets in overwhelmingly peaceful protests.
Myanmar security forces responded with bloodshed, abductions, imprisonment and torture. They are using battlefield weapons including light machine guns, sniper rifles, and semi-automatic rifles against peaceful protesters and bystanders. They continue to wage war in ethnic minority areas, resulting in civilians being killed or injured and having to flee their homes. The military has cut off the internet to hide the brutality of their attacks.
Despite bloody crackdowns, people in Myanmar have not given up. Join us and stand together with the people of Myanmar – for freedom, for human rights.
Remind local and foreign businesses operating or intending to invest in Myanmar of their responsibility to respect human rights, including the need to assess the human rights impact of their operations and partnerships.
Urge governments around the world to:
- Take further action to stop the flow of all arms and other resources used to commit violations to the Myanmar military;
- Increase diplomatic pressure, including at the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly, to stop the Myanmar military’s human rights violations and to hold perpetrators accountable;
- Request the member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to call for the release of all individuals unlawfully detained by the Myanmar military, establish a clear timeline of ASEAN’s implementation of the Five Point Consensus, and support UN actions;
- Increase humanitarian assistance to the people in or fleeing Myanmar who face combined impacts of COVID-19, coup crackdowns and armed conflict.