Stop killing peaceful demonstrators in Myanmar

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Urgent Call for Intervention in Myanmar
An Open Letter to the UN Human Rights Council and UN member states

The world received the sad news on the first confirmed death from the Myanmar military coup on 19 February 2021. She was shot in the head on February 9 while participating in a peaceful protest in the capital Naypyitaw — just two days before her 20th birthday.

Again on 28 February, security forces in Myanmar fired on peaceful protesters, killing at least 18 people and leaving more than 30 others injured.

Violent suppressions on the part of the police and military continue to increase. A few days later, on 3 March, 38 peaceful demonstrators were shot dead. Police and soldiers had opened fire with live rounds with little warning.

The news on 8 March reported that three protesters were killed in the northern town of Myitkyina. According to witnesses and photos on Facebook, two of them had gunshot wounds to the head. And on 14 march, it was reported that at least 38 protesters across Myanmar were killed in the latest crackdown on the anti-coup movement.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners have reported that since the military coup started on 1 February 2021, more than 126 peaceful demonstrators against the military coup have been killed with many more wounded. More than 2,156 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced and many families do not know their health condition or where they are. We strongly condemn the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.

We must not allow this situation to continue. We call on the international community to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its violations of human rights, and to pursue justice for the Myanmar people. We need the unity of the international community to use every tool available to stop this situation.

The UN Human Rights Council's 47 members have voted to adopt a Resolution demanding the "immediate and unconditional" release of political detainees and the restoration of Myanmar's elected government. We urge the Council and its member countries to take stronger measures to restore the rights of the people of Myanmar to elect their government in a democratic process.

We call upon the Council and its member states to take the right and effective measures to prevent any further sacrifice of innocent lives. We call for the immediate imposition of an arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions against all businesses related to the military, the Generals and their families and proxies, as a response to their violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations against the military coup. Any sale or transfer of military-related equipment to Myanmar could provide the means to further repress the people of Myanmar in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, call on the UN Human Rights Council and UN member states to urgently institute every possible intervention measure, including coordinated, global sanctions on Myanmar in response to the February 1, 2021 military coup and the subsequent killing of over 126 peaceful demonstrators by the police and military.

We must act decisively now to prevent more deaths.