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MAP Condemns Myanmar Junta’s Illegal Attempt to Seize Diplomatic Property in London

August 18th, 2023  •  Author:   Myanmar Accountability Project  •  3 minute read
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London, 18 August 2023: Myanmar’s junta has filed a complaint with the British police to expel the pro-democracy Ambassador, Kyaw Zwar Minn, from the official ambassadorial residence in London and take possession of the property.  The complaint accuses Ambassador Minn of trespassing and before it can go to trial it must be approved by the UK Attorney General.

The Ambassador was locked out of the embassy by pro-military representatives shortly after the coup in 2021, but he has remained in his residence, ‘Myanmar House’.

Ambassador Minn said he was “adamant” that he would not leave the property. “I will resist all attempts to expel me and I will remain the custodian of the property on behalf of the people of Myanmar House until the threat from this kleptocratic criminal gang passes and I am able to hand the house over to an incoming democratic ambassador.”

Chris Gunness, Director of the Myanmar Accountability Project, which has been involved in this case, said “according to the English land registry, the Union of Myanmar owns the house and as the junta does not represent the Union of Myanmar, this move has no legal validity.”

Gunness condemned “in the strongest terms” what he described as “an attempted property heist”. He said it was “inconceivable that the British authorities, who have condemned the coup and imposed economic sanctions on the generals, would permit this move by an illegal junta that has imprisoned the country’s democratically-elected government and which carries out massacres, indiscriminate air strikes and mass arson attacks on a daily basis.”

Gunness urged Myanmar’s democratic National Unity Government “to establish a representative office in Myanmar House and to continue with the important task of representing the people of Myanmar in all major diplomatic hubs. Failure to do this risks handing the junta a major diplomatic prize.”

Myanmar’s military regime has been accused at the International Court of Justice of committing genocide against the Rohingya people and is being investigated by the International Criminal Court. The Myanmar Accountability Project, MAP, has initiated criminal complaints against members of the junta in Turkey and Indonesia and will file a criminal complaint in the Philippines later this year.

The latest report by the UN’s Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, says there are credible reports that the junta has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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For further information and interview requests, please contact Chris Gunness on [email protected] or on WhatsApp on +447587698990.


Original statement.