Myanmar: UN must ensure accountability for free expression violations

Myanmar: UN must ensure accountability for free expression violations - Protection

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Summary

ARTICLE 19 made this statement during the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Myanmar at the 47th Session of the Human Rights Council.

We thank the High Commissioner for her oral update and her ongoing efforts to monitor and assess the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar. We look forward to her upcoming written update and comprehensive report which will be vital in maintaining scrutiny and accountability for human rights violations in Myanmar.

We are deeply concerned about the arrest of journalists, lawyers, and participants in the Civil Disobedience Movement and allegations of torture in detention. We request the High Commissioner to monitor and assess all instances of detention, taking into account the experiences of women, children, LGBTQI individuals, and ethnic and religious minorities.

Internet shutdowns continue to hamper accountability efforts and contribute to human rights violations. We urge the High Commissioner to examine the Internet restrictions in Myanmar, including how they have enabled violations of international human rights law and international criminal law.

We remain concerned about the junta’s increased surveillance capabilities and urge the High Commissioner to scrutinise the military’s use of digital surveillance technologies to violate human rights.

We further request the High Commissioner to provide recommendations to businesses on how to respect human rights while providing digital services in Myanmar.

The junta’s increasing restrictions on banking operations and scrutiny of non-governmental organisations has had a devastating impact on civil society, forcing many groups to go underground, leave the country, or cease operations altogether. We urge the High Commissioner to investigate these restrictions and to provide concrete recommendations to Member States and UN entities on best practices in supporting civil society in an increasingly difficult operational environment.

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