16 September 2020 — London, UK — Burma Human Rights Network applauds comments made on 14 September 2020 by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and urges the rest of the international community to take similar stands in their appraisal of the human rights situation in Burma. Mrs. Bachelet’s comments were made during the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council covering Resolution 42/3, which evaluates Burma’s implementation of recommendations from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. The High Commissioner not only raised concerns of Burma’s failures to comply with the recommendations, but she highlighted Burma’s ongoing egregious acts and said that they may amount to further war crimes or crimes against humanity.
“The High Commissioner has brought the honesty and seriousness to the Human Rights Council that is desperately needed when evaluating Burma. She presented the seriousness of previous crimes, the failures for Burma to comply with the recommendations of the IIFFMM, and she accurately described current violations as possibly amounting to war crimes or crimes against humanity. She did so while stressing the urgency for immediate change. The rest of the international community should take note and pursue justice and resolution in Burma with the same conviction and prioritization,” said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
The 45th session of the Human Rights Council is taking place as the civil war in Rakhine State rages on, with widespread reports of civilians being killed, raped, abducted, and tortured by the Burmese Army. As noted by Mrs. Bachelet, several areas in Rakhine State have been burned to the ground, in what are believed to be arson attacks by the military. All of this is happening as a massive troop build-up by the Burmese army has been reported along the Bangladesh border, a worrying development whatever the motivation.
BHRN calls on the international community to examine these events with dire urgency, particularly in light of Burma’s failures to comply with the recommendations of the IIFFMM. The charges of war crimes or crimes against humanity must be treated with the greatest degree of seriousness and determination to prevent any further suffering and damage from occurring. The UNHRC and all other relevant organs must initiate steps to investigate these accusations, Burma’s previous failings, and deter the army and government from any further malfeasance.
Background on the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
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