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Mr President, Honourable Members,
Eight months since the coup - which unravelled Myanmar’s democratisation steps - the military remains entrenched in power. The situation remains of utmost concern.
The European Union condemns the overthrow of the legitimately elected civilian government and the ensuing violence against civilians. We call on the junta to respect the will of the people expressed in the November 2020 election, restore power to the elected government, and respect the rule of law.
The latest report of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [Michelle Bachelet] paints a grim picture, describing the situation as a “human rights catastrophe that shows no signs of abating”.
Ongoing violent repression, systematic and targeted killings, arbitrary detentions, and ill-treatment of detainees must stop. All arbitrarily detained must be immediately and unconditionally released. Freedom of expression, of association and assembly, as well as access to information must be guaranteed.
There can be no impunity. Alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law must be investigated. We note the assessment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that some of these may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The EU continues to support the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability.
The European Union also calls on the armed forces to provide the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights full and unhindered access, and immediate access to the International Committee of the Red Cross to detainees.
The situation of the Rohingya and other minorities in the Myanmar remains extremely worrying. The current crisis further exacerbates their plight.
Our policy response is robust and coordinated with like-minded partners. We have imposed three rounds of sanctions against the military and their interests; withheld or reoriented development assistance; provided humanitarian support.
The European Union supports the efforts of the ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar to engage all stakeholders – it is high time that the military grants him access, ahead of the ASEAN Summit on 26 October.
The European Union has led resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly condemning violations of human rights and will keep calling for the end of all acts of violence.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-211469