29th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar: Oral Statement
12 February 2021 9:52 pm

29th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council
On the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar

Oral Statement Delivered by Ahmed Adam
On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)


Friday, 12 February 2021

Madam President, FORUM-ASIA welcomes this special session. This is an important step in addressing the rapidly escalating human rights crisis in Myanmar following the military coup on 1st February.

Council’s response to the crisis should reflect its gravity. History of Myanmar military’s violent crackdowns on peaceful protests as well as ongoing violations including arbitrary detention of elected officials, human rights defenders and activists, use of excessive force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors, internet shutdowns and restrictions on communication and media point to further escalations.

Council should put in place necessary mechanisms for rapid and emergency response to prevent further violations in line with its prevention mandate. Failure to act appropriately by the Council, the UN and the international community has too often led to recurrence of grave international crimes and other atrocities in Myanmar.

At the root of the ongoing crisis in Myanmar lies the entrenched impunity of the Myanmar military for its continuing grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law including genocide against Rohingya, and war crimes and crimes against humanity against ethnic minorities. The Council and the international community must take all necessary steps to hold Myanmar military accountable for its crimes including by referring Myanmar to the ICC or establishing an ad hoc tribunal, and by imposing carefully considered and targeted sanctions against the military and military-owned and operated businesses and its associates.

We call on Myanmar military to immediately restore the legitimate civilian government; refrain from using violence against peaceful protestors; respect rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association; immediately and unconditionally release all those who are arbitrarily detained; permanently restore access to internet, mobile phone networks, media and social media; end all international human rights and humanitarian law violations in ethnic ceasefire areas; and allow unimpeded humanitarian access

For a PDF version of this statement, please click here.