MYANMAR/BURMA: UN Member States’ Urgent Actions Needed for Addressing Human Rights Catastrophe

An Oral Statement to the 48th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)

Madam President:

The Asian Legal Resource Centre endorses the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Madam High Commissioner,

You have rightly concluded that there is “a human rights catastrophe” in Myanmar. We agree with your recommendation that the “Member States must act urgently to prevent a further disintegration of Myanmar into a nationwide armed conflict or state collapse”.

The “Instrumentalization of Law” and “Subversion of Judiciary and Due Processes”, as highlighted in the report, are matters of great concerns. The “instrumentalization of law” criminalises “perceived intent and actual criticism of the authorities” coupled with “warrantless searches, seizures, arrests, surveillance and interception of communications”.

The “military tribunals in areas [of Yangon Region], regional Commanders” being “authorized to try a range of criminal cases summarily and impose the harshest penalties for each crime – including death sentences – with no right of appeal, in violation of international fair trial standards”. The so-called trials in “prison courts” – mostly “without access to legal counsels” reflect the nature of “subversion of judiciary and due process”.

The lesson learned from Myanmar’s continued degeneration of institutions should trigger effective efforts for inclusiveness and protection of human rights in all other jurisdictions.

Thank you, Madam President and Madam High Commissioner.

UN Web TV Video Link: (For watching the Statement at the UN Web TV, please click the video link at 53:40 to find Asian Legal Resource Centre)

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The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) works towards the radical rethinking & fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in Asia, to ensure relief and redress for victims of human rights violations, as per Common Article 2 of the International Conventions. Sister organisation to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the ALRC is based in Hong Kong & holds general consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations.

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