Responding to the arrest of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians and Government officials amid reports of a military coup underway in Myanmar, Amnesty International has called for their immediate release.
Aung San Suu Kyi was among the top ranking government officials recently arrested following a coup d’état on 1 February 2021 when Min Aung Hlaing, took control as State Leader of Myanmar and it’s Commander-in-Chief. He seized power after overthrowing the elected government.
“The arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, senior officials and other political figures is extremely alarming. Unless those detained can be charged with a recognisable criminal offence under international law, they must be immediately released.”Regional Deputy Campaigns Director Ming Yu Hah
The organisation has called for clarification on the charges brought against Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy party in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the other Myanmar government officials, including Myanmar’s President Win Myint who are detained. The organisation said it wants assurances that their rights and welfare are being upheld; they are not subject to ill-treatment, and have access to legal representation and family visits. Amnesty is also calling for information on their whereabouts and that they have access to medical care.
“This is an ominous moment for people in Myanmar and threatens a severe worsening of military repression and impunity. The concurrent arrests of prominent political activists and human rights defenders sends a chilling message that the military authorities will not tolerate any dissent amid today’s unfolding events.”– Amnesty International.
Previous military coups and crackdowns in Myanmar have seen large scale violence and extrajudicial killings by security forces. It’s hoped that the armed forces exercise restraint and that those involved with the coup abide by international human rights and humanitarian law and introduce a police force at the earliest opportunity.
There have been reports of a telecommunications blackout, which poses a further threat to the population at such a volatile time. Myanmar is facing not only Covid-19 pandemic, but also internal conflicts against armed groups that is putting civilians at risk in several parts of the country.