Dear President and Members of the Security Council,
We, the undersigned protesters around Myanmar and CSOs call on the UN Security Council to immediately dispatch an intervention mission to Myanmar to stop violence from being inflicted against peaceful protesters, prevent further bloodshed and loss of life, and release all those arbitrarily detained.
Since 1 February, seven people have been killed, and several others have been injured in relation to the illegitimate military coup in Myanmar.
As requested in an open letter from the 177 CSOs to the Security Council on 12 February 2021, it is important that the UN Security Council respond immediately to the current political and human security crisis in Myanmar.
Since this letter was last sent, we have witnessed the following escalating use of violence and intimidation by the military regime:
- On 20 February, two people were killed, and dozens were injured when police, with support from soldiers, fired live ammunition into the dockworkers protesting at the Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay. At least one sniper from Light Infantry Division 33 – a shock unit deployed in ethnic regions that has historically inflicted brutal violence – was photographed on the streets at the place and time of the incident. Photos and videos of innocent bleeding protesters, dying in the streets, are placing an emotional strain on the people.
- On February 9, Ma Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing, a 19-year old female student was shot in the head by police in Naypyidaw, later dying in hospital as a result of this incident on 19 February 2021.
- The use of excessive forces, including rubber bullets, water cannons, and beatings by the police is now a common occurrence. On 14 and 19 February, in Myitkyina, Kachin State, the police beat, arrested, and fired on crowds, causing panic among the people. Rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd in Yangon, as well as Mawlamyine, Mon State and in Myawaddy, Karen State.
- Journalists and media reporting on the peaceful protests are facing intimidation and threats such as being followed, beaten, and arrested.
- Since the early hours of 14 February, the Internet has been cut off every night between 1am and 9am, and a social media ban persists. In addition, the military has added other draconian restrictions by enacting and amending series of laws related to cyber security.
- There have been increased presence of army tanks and soldiers in the streets of major cities, including Yangon.
- Protesters, especially civil servants and public-sector workers who join the CDM movement, continue to be arrested at night. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a total of 684 people have been arrested charged or sentenced in relation to the military coup as of 22 February.
- On 12 February, authorities released more than 23,000 prisoners, who were escorted by security forces into city streets and neighborhoods, setting fire to houses, creating disturbances, and inciting violence. Some still had their prison release papers when they were arrested while committing acts or attempting to commit violence.
The lack of human security situation is extremely worrying. More people are dying; our rights are becoming more restricted, and we live in constant fear. We are being treated like enemies in combat.
Yet, we are also determined to continue opposing this illegitimate military coup. We will continue to go out on the streets and peacefully oppose the violence that is being inflicted upon us. However, we need urgent support from the Security Council.
The current situation in our country is a major emergency. Therefore, it is with great urgency, that we reiterate our call from the letter dated 12 February for the UN Security Council to:
- Immediately dispatch an enhanced monitoring and intervention mission to Myanmar to stop the violence being inflicted against peaceful protesters, prevent further bloodshed and loss of life and release all those arbitrarily detained.
- In addition, it is imperative that the member states urgently impose a coordinated, global arms embargo on Myanmar. Our lives may depend on your concerted action.
Please accept the assurance of our highest consideration.
View the full list of over 263 civil society organizations here.