News & Updates 5 February 2021

The UN Security Council and ASEAN must take swift action against the military takeover in Myanmar

“We are only just learning to fly. Now the military has broken our wings.”
Myanmar citizen, TV interview, 2 February 2021

Transitional Justice Asia Network (TJAN) joins the global condemnation of the Tatmadaw’s actions, overturning the democratically elected government, detaining elected officials and human rights defenders, and reversing democratic gains. Three days since the dawn assault on democracy, the citizens of Myanmar remain under siege and imminent danger.

The UN Security Council must act swiftly using its Chapter 7 powers to protect international peace and security. A clear message must be sent to those responsible for this coup that there will be consequences. The international community will demand accountability. The Tatmadaw must be put on notice that violent repression will not be tolerated, and that these actions will be sanctioned, including targeted economic sanctions.

The military takeover is a direct threat to the principle of the ASEAN Charter, “to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law.” Article 25 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration guarantees the rights of citizens to be governed by “democratically elected representatives,” through elections that “guarantee the free expression of the will of the electors, in accordance with national law.” The ASEAN Secretariat and member states must take action to sanction the Tatmadaw, and reinstate the legitimate government, immediately releasing those detained.

To counter false accusations on electoral fraud, we urge international governments and electoral monitoring groups to share evidence that recent elections were free and fair.

Together with human rights defenders across Asia, we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Myanmar. Democracy, accountability, and human rights have too long been delayed. We re-commit our intention to support Myanmar’s human rights defenders who continue to face threats with courage and tenacity.

Download this statement here

Transitional Justice Asia Network (TJAN)
Asia Justice and Rights — KontraS Aceh (Indonesia) — Network for Human Rights Documentation- Burma (Myanmar) — Suriya Women’s Development Centre (Sri Lanka) — Cross-Cultural Foundation (Thailand) — 18 Memorial Foundation (South Korea) — Advocacy Forum-Nepal (Nepal) — Asosiasaun Chega! Ba Ita (Timor-Leste)