5th March 2021 – London/Yangon — BHRN is calling on the international community to respond swiftly to the horrific violence perpetrated by the Burmese security forces against non-violent protesters. On 3rd March alone, BHRN documented nearly 40 people killed during the protests across the country. Many of those killed were shot by snipers directly in the head and died instantly, demonstrating the intent to kill unarmed and peaceful protesters by the army and police. Among the killed were women and teenagers. Burma is in violation of several of its human rights commitments and should absolutely be prosecuted for its crimes.
“The slaughter of protesters by the Burmese security forces is an abomination before the world that cannot be ignored. The military regime is killing civilians arbitrarily for calling on them to relinquish power. Each day the death toll increases, and the military’s tactics become more horrific. Waiting for action is not an option. These actions amount to crimes against humanity and the international community needs to treat them as such, not only through sanctions but through the prosecution of those in command of the armed forces,” said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
Burma has ratified the Geneva Convention, obligated to comply with international norms, like the Prohibition of Crimes Against Humanity. Burma’s widespread and systematic use of murder, torture, and arbitrary detention against protesters and civilians squarely puts them in violation of both their formal agreements and international norms. The international community urgently needs to respond to these violations with sanctions on the Burmese military and all its affiliated businesses, a global arms embargo, and referral and support for all cases against Burma before the ICC. Further, the international community must offer direct support to the Civil Disobedience Movement (the protest movement) and the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the committee of democratically elected lawmakers who were removed from power by the Burmese military). The people of Burma are in need of action and direct support and empty words of condemnation will do nothing to aid them.
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)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378