UN Human Rights Council 48: UK statement for the interactive dialogue with High Commissioner for Human Rights on her written update for Myanmar
UK International Ambassador for Human Rights Rita French gave a statement reiterating the UK's call on the military to respect the human rights and democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar.
23 September 2021
Thank you, Madam President.
Thank you High Commissioner for your update.
The United Kingdom condemns the military coup in Myanmar and I reiterate our call on the military to respect the human rights and democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar.
The coup has had a detrimental impact on freedom of expression. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, since the coup over 6000 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced for political reasons, including human rights defenders, faith leaders and journalists. These people are instrumental in supporting a diverse dialogue about the future of Myanmar. Silencing them, often with little or no information about their whereabouts or access to lawyers is a clear violation of the rule of law and an attack on freedoms.
In a crisis, where the military regime seeks a monopoly over information and political opinion, freedom of expression is vital in keeping alive the spirit of democracy. Myanmar Security Forces continue to commit atrocities throughout the country in efforts to silence opposition resistance and the flow of verified information. This includes reports of torture and sexual assaults in prisons, arbitrary arrests, violent crackdowns, and sexual and gender based violence.
Madam High Commissioner,
What can the international community do to ensure that people are able to express their political opinions without fear or threat of violence?
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