As Nobel Peace laureates we are deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and the detention of the leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and pro-democracy activists.
We also condemn the curtailment of freedom of expression as internet and phone lines across the country are down. The military government is attempting to silence citizen voices through arrests and censorship.
A year-long state of emergency has been declared as General Min Aung Hlaing has effectively taken over all legislative, judicial, and executive powers. Myanmar’s military disputes the results of the recent election which saw the NLD win the majority of seats.
The coup, surge of violence and suppression are all happening in the context of a Myanmar that already does not respect human rights, where pro-democracy activists are targeted and imprisoned and where General Min Augh Hlaing, Myanmar’s new leader, stands accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. Impunity for these crimes has further encouraged the military to use its power to suppress democracy. A return to the status quo is not acceptable.
Myanmar’s military must:
- immediately and unconditionally release all detainees, including political leaders and pro-democracy activists;
- restore communications lines, end censorship and any limitation on access to information; and
- return parliament to its elected officials.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative stands with the people of Myanmar. We call on the United Nations Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to condemn the coup, establish a global arms embargo, and refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court so that all those responsible for the crimes of genocide can be held to account.
The international community must show solidarity with the people of Myanmar and condemn the coup, the detentions, and the suppression of citizen voices. Action is needed now to ensure that the human rights of the people of Myanmar are upheld.