Almost 300 sitting parliamentarians from around the world have signed a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of their colleagues in Myanmar, as well as all those arbitrarily detained since the February 1 military coup, and for democracy and the rule of law to be upheld in the country.
As an indication of the global level of concern about developments in Myanmar, the calls came from current lawmakers from 28 countries covering all five continents, including the United States and Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Of the thousands arrested in recent months in Myanmar, at least 60 are fellow parliamentarians, including the State Counsellor, President and Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Chief Ministers, and Union and regional-level Members of Parliament (MPs).
“As well as being horrified by the abhorrent brutality of the Myanmar military, we are also deeply troubled about the welfare of our colleagues in the country, who have been arrested merely for being elected by the people to be their representatives in parliament,” said Bruce Stanton, Member of the Parliament of Canada.
The calls came as part of an initiative driven by the International Parliamentarians Alliance for Myanmar (IPAM), a global network of lawmakers established in March 2021 to advance human rights and democracy in Myanmar.
“Parliamentarians are the backbone of a democracy, and as a global network of MPs we call for their immediate and unconditional release – and all those arrested since the coup – and for the deafening voice of the Myanmar people to be heard – that is, for democracy to be restored,” said MP Renate Künast, from the German Bundestag.
The lawmakers also called on the international community, which includes their respective governments, not to lend legitimacy to the brutal military regime in Myanmar, and instead establish at the earliest a comprehensive response to the crisis in Myanmar that ensures the military junta immediately ends the use of violence against peaceful protesters and abides by the democratic will of the Myanmar people and the rule of law.