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Statement on International Human Rights Day 2023

10 December 2023

1.  Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. The democratically elected representatives of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw are striving for a future where human rights and dignity are upheld for everyone in Myanmar. At a time when the resistance movement has made dramatic gains against the illegal military junta, we once again can glimpse a future where human rights are promoted and protected in our country. We call for the international community to support us in our efforts to realize this future at this critical juncture.

2.  As of today, human right abuses in many forms continue in many countries, including Myanmar where the situation is worsened by conflict. In Myanmar, we have witnesses the military junta carrying out unspeakable and horrific human rights violations against civilians, including the democratically elected lawmakers in the 2020 general election since the unlawful attempted coup on February 1 2021.

3.  The military junta’s atrocities include arbitrary arrests, inhumane torture, extrajudicial killings, massive killings, sexual abuse and gender-based violence, property loot, seizure and destruction, mass arson and targeted aerial attacks against civilians and civilian objects. Some of them amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The executions of four democratic defenders including former lawmaker U Phyo Zeya Thaw constitute some of the most heinous human rights violations committed by the junta.

4.  Since the attempted coup, over 4,250 civilians have been killed and 25,522 detained. An estimated 80,000 civilian houses and other infrastructure has been burnt down and destroyed. Schools, hospitals, religious buildings and even IDPs camps have been targeted frequently by airstrikes. The recent airstrikes on Mung Lai Hkyet Village in Laiza Township, Kachin State killed 28 people including 11 children and injured over 60 persons. The unlawful coup and unspeakable violence of the military junta’s armed forces has resulted in nearly 2.5 million people displaced and 18 million people including women and children in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The international community is reminded again that it is very necessary to make practical cooperation with the National Unity Government and ethnic resistance organizations for the effective humanitarian aid to those in need of help.

5.  In order to end the human rights violation and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, we must strive to reverse the coup and return Myanmar to democracy. The people of Myanmar are bravely resisting the brutal military junta in the cause of upholding their freedom, human rights, human dignity and justice. The military junta and those involved in human rights violations must be held accountable for their long reign of terror against all people of Myanmar including ethnic minorities and the Rohingya people. This is a critical step to progress towards a political transition to an inclusive federal democratic nation. Our vision is of a world where human rights and democracy are protected for all, not only in Myanmar but across Asia and in all countries worldwide.

6.  We call on the global community including the United Nations and ASEAN to understand the current situation in Myanmar which is in a new phase. Democracy’s supporters are united in moving forward towards an end of military dictatorship and the victory of the Spring Revolution. This is an essential time for support from the international community. We welcome the coordinated sanctions of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada and urge all countries to take such actions.

7.  We mark this Human Rights Day by reiterating our call to the United Nations, ASEAN, democratic countries, human rights organizations and individuals to help us to end the military coup and support the country’s democratically-elected representatives, legitimate institutions and ethnic representative organizations to restore democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law in Myanmar.

The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw

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