4 March 2021 — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been closely monitoring the recent developments across Myanmar and is seriously concerned about the increasingly violent incidents observed during the recent days and their related humanitarian consequences.
At times when demonstrations remain frequent and widespread, and when numbers of people killed or seriously injured are rising, the ICRC is calling on all for restraint in Myanmar.
The ICRC would like to recall that when tensions rise during demonstrations, police and military forces involved in law enforcement operations must use first negotiation and mediation and that force must not be used unless this is strictly necessary. When the use of force is unavoidable, it should be proportional to the threat and all feasible precautions must be taken to prevent or minimize risks for the life or physical integrity of the population.
The ICRC also calls for the full respect and protection of healthcare personnel, vehicles and facilities, as it is vital that the injured have access to medical assistance. Healthcare personnel and ambulances must be respected by all sides, so that they can safely reach and assist those injured. When assisting injured persons, they must neither be threatened, nor hindered in their activities.
The ICRC would like to recall that those arrested or detained must be treated humanely. Their life, physical integrity and dignity must be respected and protected in all circumstances.
The ICRC will continue to monitor the developments on the ground and address its humanitarian concerns to the relevant authorities. It will also continue supporting – together with its partners of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS). The MRCS has mobilized during the past four weeks, over 1.500 volunteers and 120 ambulances in all states and regions, to provide first aid and emergency medical transfers to all those in need, often in challenging safety circumstances. To date, the MRCS has provided first aid or emergency medical transfer to 509 people.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening international humanitarian law (IHL) and universal humanitarian principles.