Myanmar: Urgent global action needed to stop military’s ‘nationwide assault on human rights’

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1 February marks second anniversary of Myanmar’s brutal military regime

Nearly 3,000 people killed, 1.5 million internally displaced, more than 13,000 detained in inhumane conditions, and at least 100 sentenced to death

‘Solidarity has never been more important….The international community cannot let another day pass before taking additional effective steps to stop the military’s atrocities ’ – Ming Yu Hah

The Myanmar military continues to arbitrarily arrest, torture and murder people with impunity two years after it seized power, Amnesty International said today, as it called for increased global action and solidarity ahead of the anniversary on 1 February.

Since the 2021 coup, nearly 3,000 people have been killed, 1.5 million have been internally displaced, more than 13,000 are still detained in inhumane conditions, and four people are known to have been executed, while at least 100 have been sentenced to death. In addition to this, 7.8 million children are not in school.

The military’s onslaught against anyone who is suspected to oppose its rule has caused widespread fear and led to grave human rights violations - including the use of air and ground attacks against civilians. 

Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said:

“There is no denying that the military is able to carry out its nationwide assault on human rights because of the shockingly inadequate global response to this crisis, which risks being forgotten - we can’t let that happen.

“This anniversary should highlight the need for urgent global action from countries around the world, and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations needs to protect the people of Myanmar who remain under daily siege from the military.

“Speaking up for those in Myanmar who risk lengthy jail sentences, torture and death in custody for expressing peaceful defiance is not a trivial gesture. Solidarity has never been more important, as it can raise people’s spirits and show them they are not alone in their darkest hour.

“While many governments have heeded calls to action, it is not yet enough to stop the military’s grave violations. The international community cannot let another day pass, let alone another two years, before taking additional effective steps to stop the military’s atrocities.”

Resistance continues

Despite grave danger and persecution, brave individuals within Myanmar have continued to pursue peaceful protests. In the lead up to and on the day of the anniversary, Amnesty is participating in solidarity protests, vigils and events in cities around the world, including in Bangkok and Seoul.

But the United Nations as well as governments around the world must do more than send messages of support. The recent historic UN Security Council resolution on Myanmar was welcome progress, but much more is needed from those in power, who must urgently apply pressure on the military to release all those arbitrarily detained for peacefully exercising their human rights. 

The UN Security Council must also refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court and impose a comprehensive global arms embargo that covers all weapons, munitions, dual-use technology, as well as other military and security equipment, training and any additional forms of assistance. 

Stop aviation fuel supply

Countries and companies need to suspend the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer - including transit, trans-shipment and brokering - of aviation fuel to Myanmar until effective mechanisms are in place to ensure it will not be used to carry out devastating air strikes and commit serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. 

Last November, Amnesty launched a campaign calling for a suspension of the supply of aviation fuel to prevent the Myanmar military from carrying out unlawful air strikes. The investigation also identified companies involved across the supply chain. 

Since the coup on 1 February 2021, Amnesty has documented widespread human rights violations, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity as part of the military’s crackdown on the opposition across the country. See Amnesty’s Myanmar page for more information.

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