Human Rights Watch welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar. Since the February 1, 2021 coup, Myanmar’s junta has carried out a brutal nationwide crackdown aimed at suppressing the millions of people bravely opposing military rule.
The junta’s vast and methodical abuses, including mass killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Over 500,000 people have been internally displaced, while the junta is deliberately blocking aid to populations in need as a form of collective punishment.
The junta is terrorizing Myanmar’s people with the same disregard for life that has driven the military’s scorched-earth strategy in ethnic regions for decades. The bloodshed happening today is a direct result of security forces that have never faced consequences for their crimes.
The atrocities reported are not the actions of rogue officers, but reflect a countrywide policy led by Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and other junta leaders.
We urge the Human Rights Council to advance a strategy for accountability in Myanmar to dismantle this impunity. Following the Special Rapporteur’s recent report on arms sales, the Council resolution should call on all UN member states to prevent the flow of weapons into Myanmar.
Concerned governments should expand and robustly enforce sanctions on the military’s revenue from oil, gas, and other extractive industries to stop the funding of the junta’s abuses.
Myanmar’s crisis may have disappeared from the headlines, but across the country people continue to protest and struggle everyday against the junta’s catastrophic assault on their rights. UN bodies and member states should stand with them by imposing costs on the junta that are too great to bear.