Conservative Party Human Rights Commission launches inquiry into human rights in Myanmar/Burma

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The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission today issued a Call for Evidence for an inquiry into the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar since the coup on 1 February 2021.

In the two-and-a-half years since the coup, Myanmar/Burma has been plunged into an escalating civil war and a desperate human rights and humanitarian crisis. Since the coup:

  • At least 23,747 people have been arrested and at least 15,408 political prisoners remain in jail;
  • At least 70,000 homes have been scorched;
  • At least 1.5 million people displaced;
  • At least 3,747 individuals have been killed;
  • The UN Hight Commissioner for Human Rights reports that the military regime is perpetrating a campaign of airstrikes against civilians in ethnic states and “sexual violence, mass killings, extra-judicial executions, beheadings, dismemberments and mutilations”.

In his most recent report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, has warned the UN Human Rights Council that Myanmar is in “deadly freefall” into “even deeper violence and heartbreak”, with the military regime engaging in a “systematic denial” of humanitarian aid to its people. Perhaps most significantly, he called on the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court, saying that “the path out of this crisis must be anchored in accountability for the grave human rights violations and other violations of international law that are occurring”. Any political solution for Myanmar’s “protracted emergency”, he said, “must include accountability”.

In this context, the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry and invites written submissions, evidence and recommendations on a range of human rights concerns, including: arbitrary detention and the imprisonment of political prisoners; torture and mistreatment; the crackdown on dissent, political parties, civil society, NGOs, media, Internet freedom, freedom of expression, assembly and association; sexual violence in conflict, gender-based violence and discrimination and women’s rights; violations of freedom of religion or belief; displacement; atrocity crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; air strikes by the Myanmar military, the Tatmadaw; denial of and restrictions on humanitarian assistance; and the impact so far of Western sanctions and what more could be done; the influence of China, India and Russia; the effectiveness of ASEAN and what more could be done in the region; and the role and impact of humanitarian aid and how it can be channelled without going through the military regime.

Tim Loughton MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said: “The absolutely appalling and tragic human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar/Burma is one of the world’s worst and yet most forgotten tragedies. It is on a par with Ukraine in terms of human suffering and does not receive the attention it deserves. That is why the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission is holding this inquiry, with a view to helping to mobilise international attention and action to help the people of Myanmar.”

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