Shocking events unfolding in Myanmar after 48 people were massacred in broad daylight and many were seriously wounded by the military junta led by General Min Aung Hlaing. It is apparent that the military elite has now adopted a policy of shoot to kill in defiant to all internationally recognised human rights laws and norms. People are terrified to express their opinion and voice their views on what is going on in their country.
These events emerged after a coup took place on 1st, February against a democratically elected government.
Under international human rights law and specifically under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, People have the right to assemble and protest peacefully.
Article 21 states that: « The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognised. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others »
These protestors are unarmed civilians who have the right to demonstrate and express their right of expression about the future of their country.
It is incumbent on the international community to exercise armed and economic sanctions targeting the military apparatus in order to curb the army from committing further atrocities. Furthermore, activate international accountability mechanism to investigate the military machinery and its leadership for war crimes, war against humanity and genocide.
The military junta still has the blood of hundreds of innocent Rohingya Muslims in its hand and responsible for the displacement of thousands of women and children whom fled the inferno of such brutal regime.
The events in Myanmar are escalating and the armed forces must refrain from using excessive force and show self-control on a situation of their own making.
AFD International Asia is calling on neighbouring countries and allies of Myanmar to play their part in putting pressure on the regime to uphold human rights norms and release the democratically elected government from prison.
Asia & the pacific Department
09 March 2021