50th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council
Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner on Myanmar
Delivered by Khin Ohmar
On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
14 June 2022
Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner,
The Myanmar junta is escalating its scorched-earth atrocity tactics across the country, burning villages, indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes, and mass killings, in its continuous attempt to wipe out the democratic resistance to the failed coup. The junta’s violence, in particular, in Sagaing and Magwe regions where junta just last week bunt down over 8 kilometer stretch, including health clinics, bears many hallmarks of genocidal atrocities against Rohingya in 2017.
While Sagaing and Magwe regions have faced the worst of the violence, the junta has continued atrocities including rape and sexual violence, killing innocent civilians and the use of human shields in ethnic areas in Northern and Eastern Myanmar newly displacing 700,000 people. More than 14 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance, yet the junta is weaponizing aid, systematically blocking it to those affected by its violence.
The junta has imposed restrictions on the access to internet and communication including internet shutdowns, online censorship, restrictions on access to social media, and disruption of phone lines, clearly to cover up the scale and gravity its atrocities to the world.
The inability of the UN to move beyond rhetoric and to take concrete action against the junta is a clear betrayal of the people of Myanmar, as well as its very own mandate to protect the people most in need of its protection. Emboldened by the inaction, the junta has recently announced the pending execution of four democracy activists, including Jimmy and Phyo Zeya Thaw. This sends a chilling message to those who continue to resist the military’s brutal attempt to take power.
The only way to protect the people of Myanmar is by supporting their resistance to the military and defense of their democracy, life and liberty and recognizing their legitimate government, the National Unity Government formed on the basis of the 2020 elections.