23 March 2021
IPU President, Mr. Duarte Pacheco and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong met today a group of Myanmar parliamentarians elected in the general election of November 2020 but prevented from taking their seats in the new parliament following the military coup on 1 February 2021.
The parliamentarians are part of the newly formed 17-member Committee to Represent the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Union Assembly (CRPH). The CRPH represents some 400 parliamentarians elected in the November elections. Its objective is to carry out parliamentary functions despite the coup, and in circumstances where the parliamentarians are under close watch by the military and police.
IPU President, Mr. Duarte Pacheco said “We express our solidarity with our elected parliamentary colleagues in Myanmar. The IPU is an organization of national parliaments dedicated to defending democracy and the human rights of parliamentarians. We call for respect of the rule of law, the constitution and the results of the November elections.”
IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong said “The subversion of any democratic process is unacceptable, especially when it involves military repression of peaceful civil protests. The IPU stands ready to defend the physical and legal integrity of the Myanmar parliament and the human rights of its duly elected parliamentarians.”
The members of the CRPH thanked the IPU for its recent support, notably an IPU statement issued during the coup itself, on the day the new Parliament was due to convene for the first time.
The Myanmar parliamentarians spoke of the violence and destruction in the country, and of the damage to the state, already weakened by poverty and the pandemic.
The parliamentarians also asked the IPU to facilitate contacts with other parliaments with experience of conflict or constitutional crises who could support them and share their experiences.
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is closely monitoring the situation of several of the parliamentarians in Myanmar. The IPU Committee has received reports of human rights violations against 39 parliamentarians, including threats, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention and failure of the authorities to respect parliamentary immunity.
The IPU Committee will issue its full report on the human rights situation of the Myanmar parliamentarians shortly.