We, the undersigned human rights organisations, are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Myanmar after the military seized power and immediately cracked down on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and urge the United Nations Human Rights Council to take immediate action.
On 4 February, the UN Security Council issued a statement in which it called for the immediate release of all those detained by the military authorities and stressed the need for the full respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. However, much more needs to be done to prevent further serious abuses and to hold perpetrators of serious crimes to account.
In its final report, the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar called upon the UN Human Rights Council to “react promptly and decisively to early warning signs of impending human rights crises … including by creating new mandates or expanding existing ones.” The United Nations should learn from past failures, including in Myanmar, by responding strongly and without delay to the current crisis, in accordance with the Fact-Finding Mission’s recommendations and the Council’s prevention mandate.
It is critical at this juncture that the Human Rights Council takes the swift action necessary to ensure necessary monitoring of the developing human rights situation in Myanmar. The Council should immediately convene a Special Session to ensure urgent enhanced monitoring of the unfolding rights crisis in Myanmar, develop rapid response capability, identify the steps needed to address and deter current and future rights violations, and put in place enhanced regular reporting on the human rights situation to the Human Rights Council and other relevant bodies.
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5203
New York, NY 10016-4309, USA