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HRC47 Oral Statement on Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar (oral progress report)

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47th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar (oral progress report)

Delivered by Khin Ohmar on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

7 July 2021


Madam President,

We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s update.

Five months after the attempted coup, Myanmar is in the midst of a human rights and humanitarian catastrophe.

The junta has slaughtered nearly 900 peaceful protestors and tortured and executed detainees. It has held dead bodies of hostage in exchange for money from families. Dead bodies have been returned to families with signs of severe torture and mutilation, and missing organs.

The junta’s intensifying violence against ethnic communities bears hallmarks of mass atrocity crimes, including indiscriminate airstrikes on civilians and places of worship bearing white flags, blockade of humanitarian aid creating serious food and medicine shortage in areas affected by violence, as well as the weaponization of COVID19 restrictions along with martial law effectively banning freedom of movement. Escalating violence has displaced over 250,000 people in Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Shan and Chin States.

The junta has carried out mass killings in villages of predominantly NLD supporters in Mandalay and Sagaing Regions.

Furthermore, the coup has made the conditions unsafe for remaining Rohingya and unsuitable for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. Council actions that fail to address the current reality in Myanmar cannot be conducive to voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees.

It is shameful that despite the overwhelming evidence of its atrocities, and its clear and unequivocal rejection by the people of Myanmar, many states including in the Council continue shield the junta from scrutiny and perpetuate its impunity.

We welcome the actions by several states against the junta. But only coordinated and decisive action by the UN Security Council including a global arms embargo on the military, and targeted sanctions against the junta, its businesses and associates and referral of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) will end the bloodshed. The UN and international community cannot fail the people of Myanmar again.

Thank you.


For a PDF version of this statement, click here