Human Rights Council: UK statement for the 29th Special Session on Myanmar

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Madam President,

The United Kingdom condemns the military coup in Myanmar and the arbitrary detention of members of the democratically elected civilian government and civil society, including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. It is essential that Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint, and all those arbitrarily detained are released. We must receive assurances of their safety and wellbeing.

We stand with the people of Myanmar who are now bravely exercising their democratic right to protest this coup. Their wishes, and the result of the November 2020 General Election, must be respected.

The human rights situation continues to deteriorate. We are extremely concerned by the reports and images of violence emerging from Myanmar perpetrated by the police and military. The state of emergency imposed by the military should be lifted immediately. All actors must refrain from violence and seek dialogue towards a peaceful resolution.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and call on the military to refrain from obstructing the people’s access to information and communication.

The United Kingdom is clear that the state of emergency and all restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people in Myanmar must be lifted immediately. There must be unobstructed humanitarian access for International NGOs and Civil Society Organisations so that essential aid can reach those that need it.

The events of the past two weeks have shown that it is of the utmost importance that the Special Rapporteur continues to assess the situation of human rights and to provide regular updates. We call on the Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to give the Special Rapporteur their full support and press Myanmar to allow him access.

We welcome the unanimous statement of the Security Council supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition, and the ASEAN Chair’s statement, which recalls the principles of the ASEAN Charter, such as the rule of law, good governance and democracy. We encourage all partners to work constructively to prevent any further violence and seek a peaceful resolution.

Thank you.

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