The European Union thanks the Special Rapporteur for his oral update as requested by this Council last March. We call once again on Myanmar/Burma to resume immediate cooperation with your mandate and grant unrestricted access throughout the country. We also call on Myanmar to allow the Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General on Myanmar to visit the country and meet with all stakeholders.
The European Union continues to condemn the military coup in Myanmar in the strongest terms. We call on the military regime to respect the will of the people expressed in the November 2020 election, restore power to the elected legitimate civilian government and respect the rule of law. The violent repression and attacks against civilians, including women, children and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, must cease immediately and all those arbitrarily detained, arrested or charged in connection with the coup must be promptly and unconditionally released.
Innocent civilians have died and suffered in Myanmar as a result of the military’s brutal repression. Those repeated and grave human rights violations need to be accounted for. The EU reiterates its support for the work of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and the International Criminal Court in this regard.
The EU fully supports ASEAN’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis. We call for a prompt visit to Myanmar by the ASEAN Special Envoy to conduct his urgent work. We underline the necessity to engage all relevant stakeholders within Myanmar to achieve a meaningful and sustainable solution.
You have repeatedly expressed your serious concerns, Mr. Andrews, about the worsening humanitarian situation in Myanmar, aggravated by the COVID19 pandemic. We agree that the international community cannot afford to be complacent in the face of attacks by the military on medical personnel as COVID-19 spreads unabatedly. We call on Myanmar to abide by its international humanitarian and human rights obligations and cease threats and violence against healthcare workers so that doctors and nurses can provide life-saving care and international organisations can help deliver vaccinations and related medical assistance.
In your recent joint statement with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, you warned of the specific threats faced by journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders, in particular women human rights defenders who continue to speak out against human rights violations perpetrated by the military in the face of unacceptable threats of sexual and gender-based violence and risks for their safety. The EU strongly condemns these attacks on Myanmar’s civil society. Their role in documenting the mass violations perpetrated by the military is of critical importance and attempts to silence them through attacks and intimidation, including against their family members, are unacceptable. In this regard, could you comment on what the Human Rights Council specifically can do to ensure that those cooperating with your mandate are better protected and do not suffer reprisals as a result of their actions.
I thank you.