Mass protests have been taking place across Myanmar since the military rejected November’s election results and overthrew the civil government on 1 February 2021. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, as well as, thousands of protesters have been detained. Over 700 people are reported to have been killed, including dozens of children during the crackdown of peaceful protests. Due to the brutality of security forces several hundred people have fled areas hit by violence.
The Czech Helsinki Committee is alarmed by serious human rights violations and the possibility of further violence in Myanmar. We condemn the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons against civilian protesters – who have peacefully marched to oppose the coup and the crackdown.
We call on the international community, including the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres to take collective, coordinated action and protect the people of Myanmar from harm.
The military committed grave crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. Therefore, the UN Security Council must move towards collective action.
Other countries should follow the United States’ and the European Union’s (EU) path and impose restrictive measures on Myanmar’s coup leaders. Robust, targeted sanctions are needed not only against individuals but also on military enterprises and assets.
Now, the unity and collective response are extremely important in order to prevent further violations of human rights and to ensure accountability for crimes under international law.
Director of the Czech Helsinki Committee