UN experts have released a statement today that human rights defenders taking stance against the brutality of Myanmar’s military junta urgently need massive support, including financial support, and called on the international community to end apparent indifference to violence targeting the country’s population.
“In the face of inaction by the international community, and with human rights violations continuing to be perpetrated on a daily basis by the military junta, human rights defenders are persisting in their support for those targeted and working to preserve the possibility of justice in the future,” said Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
In solidarity with Tom Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Lawlor highlighted the grave risks defenders face and the specific challenges confronting women human rights defenders, according to statement.
The statement said that since the coup, the military junta has killed and disappeared the many of human rights defenders. Even now, the defenders are in risk of detention, torture, including sexual violence and death when going out for their work.
The statement also added that there is fear of seizing the defenders’ documents at military checkpoint.
“Many have had to go into hiding after being targeted by the military for assisting survivors of gender-based violence. They are on the move constantly, and women human rights defenders often have no choice but to take their children with them when they flee,” according to the statement.
“What’s needed is concrete support for Myanmar human rights defenders, including those who have had to flee the country: stronger, coordinated pressure on the junta, timely and responsive direct financial support for defenders on the ground, and visas or resettlement for those fleeing the country,” the experts said in the statement.
“The international community must not adopt a passive stance when it comes to the crimes that are being perpetrated by the military junta and the risks for human rights defenders in Myanmar.”
A leader from the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation expressed, “we are grateful for the statement by Miss Lawlor and Mr. Andrews. It is terrible to see unnecessary violence targeting our brothers and sisters throughout Burma. It is our hope that the international community will take significant steps to stop the violence against human rights defenders and that bordering countries will understand the need to provide safety and shelter as a result of the junta’s terrorist tactics.”