Press Release 351 Views

Myanmar Military Targeting Medical Professionals

May 7th, 2021  •  Author:   Special Advisory Council for Myanmar  •  3 minute read
Featured image

07 April 2021: Medical professionals in Myanmar are being systematically targeted by the
Myanmar military with killings, beatings, abductions and enforced disappearances. The
Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) continues to call for ‘ three cuts’ against the
military, immediate implementation of the ASEAN five-point consensus, and urgent
mobilisation of resources for humanitarian assistance.

For more than three months, the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, has waged a campaign of
terror against the people of Myanmar, after it launched its coup on 1 February. It has
specifically targeted medical professionals, who are playing leading roles in the nationwide
Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), central to the peaceful resistance against military rule.
The medical professionals say the country’s future is being destroyed.

The police and security forces have used extreme violence and lethal force against peaceful
protestors on a daily basis. Doctors, medics and nurses are prevented from treating the
wounded, resulting in many tragic deaths that could have been prevented. Instead of receiving
treatment, the wounded are taken away with the dead by the security forces and left to die.
Often times, families are not allowed to bury their dead family member.

“One day without adequate health care is one more day with unnecessary and
preventable deaths. The people dying are not just nobodies. They are our country’s future
generations,” medical professionals told SAC-M.

Medical sites, clinics and hospitals have been intentionally targeted and occupied by the
security forces. The country’s healthcare system has always been totally inadequate, but it is
now being systematically destroyed by the military. As a result, Myanmar is facing an
unprecedented public health crisis.

Testing and treatment for COVID-19 has collapsed in Myanmar. The Tatmadaw’s assault on
medical professionals and the country’s healthcare system comes at a time when Myanmar’s
neighbours, including India and Thailand, are contending with a dramatic surge in COVID-19
cases. The Tatmadaw’ s actions are making a mockery of the immense regional and global
efforts to defeat the pandemic over the past eighteen months. No one knows how many are
infected in Myanmar or how many have died. The vaccination roll out has ceased.

Myanmar’s medical professionals say the military is emboldened by its impunity. They call on
the international community to apply as much pressure on the military as possible. SAC-M
continues to call for a global ‘ three cuts’ strategy: cut the arms supply through a comprehensive
global arms embargo, cut the cash flow through targeted economic sanctions, and cut the
military’s impunity through referral to the International Criminal Court.

ASEAN must recognise the unique urgency of the situation and immediately act on
implementing the five-point consensus that was agreed on 24 April. The ASEAN Special
Envoy must be appointed with no further delay and arrange immediately to visit Myanmar.
Every day without action further emboldens the Tatmadaw to continue committing atrocities
against the people of Myanmar.

Finally, resources for a massive humanitarian effort must be mobilised. A comprehensive
strategy with a resourced implementation plan, that addresses both the man-made humanitarian
disaster in Myanmar and the political crisis at its core, is urgently needed.

“Myanmar has been taken hostage by a weaponized terrorist group that has neither the
will nor the ability to govern the country or serve the interests of the peoples of Myanmar”
says SAC-M. “Its leaders should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, war crimes
and crimes against humanity. They seek to dispossess the people only to enrich themselves
and protect their own personal, economic and business interests. In doing so, they are
destroying Myanmar’s future.”

Download PDF