Myanmar: Civilians including lawyers brought before military tribunals in violation of international law | Joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council

Full .pdf joint statement of IBAHRI joined by LRWC, Lawyers for Lawyers and the Law Council of Australia
See the video on UN Web TV (at 2:43:45)

Oral Statement

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Mr. President,

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, the Law Council of Australia, Lawyers for Lawyers, and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada condemn the ongoing gross human rights violations in Myanmar, intensified following the coup.

Since the coup in February 2021, Myanmar’s military and police have reportedly killed more than 1,900 civilians.[1] Over 11,000 people are victims of mass arbitrary detention,[2] in addition to reports of enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment. Lawyers, judges, political opponents, journalists, and activists – all civilians – are being brought before military courts, in breach of international standards. Military tribunals have reportedly sentenced 114 people to death under martial law, including 41 in absentia, through closed, summary proceedings, without access to legal representation and with no right of appeal.[3] More than 18 lawyers have been arrested for defending political detainees and the activities of lawyers and lawyers’ associations have been suppressed,[4] against the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and threatening access to justice.

We urge this Council and the international community to ensure that these large-scale and systematic abuses are duly investigated, including an assessment of whether they amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including through a UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court. We also urge UN member States to consider all possible actions to ensure justice and reparation for victims in Myanmar.

We thank you.