Amnesty warns of another year of human rights crisis in Myanmar

If the international community continues to drag its feet on the grave human rights violations including lethal violence targeted at protestors that were seen in Myanmar this past year, many more people will suffer and this human rights crisis could worsen, Amnesty International said of the one-year anniversary of the February 1, 2021 coup. 

“Enough is enough, the 55 million people of Myanmar cannot afford another year of wavering and sitting on the sidelines by many governments around the world. Concrete action aimed at holding the military accountable and preventing their access to weaponry used to commit widespread human rights abuses must be taken now or the shocking death and misery that have defined life in Myanmar since the coup is likely to persist,” said Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns. 

“As the anniversary of the coup draws near, the military has launched indiscriminate air strikes that have killed civilians in the southeast, blocked life-saving aid, and kept up a bloody campaign against activists and journalists, who have been detained and killed in custody. Too many governments continue turning a blind eye to all these atrocities, as they did, following the gross violations of human rights against the Rohingya people. As a result, the military has been increasingly brazen, acting with impunity in its efforts to wipe out any resistance to its rule. 

“The Myanmar people are desperate and have become disillusioned about help from the international community. But there are clear steps that need to be taken to prevent the Myanmar military from maintaining its dystopian campaign of terror and persecution. The UN Security Council must stop dragging its feet, and instead impose a global arms embargo and targeted sanctions against military leaders, and urgently refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. 

“In addition, all local and foreign companies in business partnerships with the military or military-owned businesses need to responsibly disengage, cutting the flow of funds that the military uses to prop up its lethal operations.

“Closer to home, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must present a unified front on Myanmar and demand the military to immediately stop the violence against civilians. The ASEAN should also exert pressure on the military to stop blocking humanitarian access and expand on and implement with a clear timeline its five-point consensus adopted last year, which has proved a failure.  

“The new year must bring new approaches to Myanmar, placing human rights for the people of Myanmar, accountability, and a zero tolerance to human rights violations and abuses at the forefront.”

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