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Bulletin Issue 10 – Message from the Head of the Mechanism

April 23rd, 2024  •  Author:   Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar  •  3 minute read
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In February, Myanmar marked a grim milestone. It has been three years since the military overthrew the country’s elected government. For three years, people daring to speak out against the regime have been violently suppressed. Thousands of people – including political opponents and journalists – have been detained without due process of law. We have received credible reports that many detainees have been subjected to torture and other abuses, including sexual violence.

Since the military takeover, armed conflicts in Myanmar have increased with a significant intensification of violence since late October. We continue to collect evidence of brutal crimes – civilians killed by indiscriminate air strikes; captives burnt alive; mass executions; bodies dismembered and desecrated; villages deliberately destroyed; and women, men, boys and girls subjected to rape and other sexual and gender-based crimes.

On an almost daily basis, we are receiving new reports of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in different parts of the country and against all ethnic groups. We are tracking these new incidents as they happen, and we are gathering the evidence while it is fresh. At the same time we are retaining our focus on earlier crimes, particularly those committed against the Rohingya. The International Court of Justice has entered a critical stage of its proceedings, and the International Criminal Court is advancing its investigations. Over the coming months, we will continue to provide the relevant authorities with pertinent evidence and analysis to support these cases.

While most of our analysis is kept confidential, on an exceptional basis the Mechanism has recently made two of its analytical reports available to the public. These concern the Myanmar military’s role in distributing hate speech against the Rohingya on Facebook, and the response of Myanmar authorities to allegations of sexual and gender-based crimes committed by the security forces against the Rohingya during the clearance operations. These reports may be useful in advancing the collective efforts of those working for accountability in Myanmar.

The number of serious international crimes committed in Myanmar is mounting – but so is the evidence against the perpetrators. Our analysts, investigators and lawyers are piecing together the information to identify who is responsible, including those who ordered the crimes and those who failed to punish crimes committed by those under their command. We are working towards the day that this evidence will be presented in a court of law, and those responsible will have to answer for their actions.

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