UN: Urgent Action on Myanmar

UN: Urgent Action on Myanmar - Civic Space

Summary

ARTICLE 19’s full statement during the 29th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar.

Since the Myanmar military illegally seized power on 1 February, the situation for freedom of expression and right to information has deteriorated steeply.

We urge the Council to speak out against the arbitrary detention of activists and journalists, and to call on the military to refrain from any further arrests.

The military has blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a number of virtual private networks. On 6 and 7 February, the military implemented a nationwide internet shutdown. We are deeply concerned that future internet cuts will hamper accountability efforts and allow the military to commit further human rights violations.

We are deeply concerned by the draft Cyber Security Law that the Myanmar military seeks to enact without legal authority. The law would enable vast online surveillance powers by government and military authorities and impose liability on telecommunications operators who fail to take action against a broad range of legitimate forms of expression deemed “illegal” under the law.

We call on the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar and the High Commissioner to fully examine and report on these issues with a view to ensuring full accountability.

We also urge the Council to take further action if there is a further deterioration in the human rights situation or if there is a denial of access or lack of meaningful cooperation with the Special Rapporteur.

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