Ireland, take urgent action to support democracy in Myanmar (Burma)

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Since the military coup on 1st February, violence and terror tactics have been used to repress those peacefully protesting against the military. More than 750 people, including children, have been killed and over 3,400 are currently in detention. There are increasing reports of torture being used on detainees.

At the same time, the military has escalated attacks on ethnic communities, forcing people to flee their homes and become internally displaced. In Karen State in Eastern Burma, more than 20,000 people have become displaced, with some fleeing across the border to Thailand.

For many decades, the military junta has been committing human rights abuses against ethnic minorities with impunity.  The military were not sanctioned for the genocide perpetrated against the Rohingya in 2017 when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were forced to flee to Bangladesh following a campaign of killing and burning of homes in Rakhine state. The international community has largely ignored recommendations to ensure justice and accountability made by a 2018 UN Fact-Finding Mission into human rights violations against the Rohingya and other ethnic communities in Burma/Myanmar.

Ireland must take strong and immediate action to end the brutal suppression of the people of Burma/Myanmar and to hold the military leaders to account for human rights violations. We ask that Ireland works with the EU and UN to do so by:

  • Introducing further targeted sanctions against the military-controlled Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and on state-owned timber and gems enterprises as well as enforcing a ban on the import of timber and gems from Burma/Myanmar.
  • Building support for a global arms embargo on Burma/Myanmar. The embargo should be accompanied by robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.
  • Putting pressure on the military junta to end arbitrary detention and arrests of political leaders and activists and end systematic targeting of journalists, protestors, medical staff and civil society activists.
  • Supporting the referral of Burma/Myanmar to the International Criminal Court so that members of the military can be held accountable for their crimes and violations of international law.

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