Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
43rd Session to the UN Human Rights Council
*The statement was not delivered at the Human Rights Council because of travel restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak
Thank you, Mr Vice President,
We share the Special Rapporteur’s concern regarding the continuing threats to freedom of expression and other human rights in Myanmar. We are deeply concerned by the continued blocking of mobile internet service in conflict-affected areas in Rakhine and Chin States, where grave human rights abuses have been documented.
The internet shutdown, which began more than eight months ago, has raised serious concerns for the dissemination of information relating to safety and security and the ability to access basic rights. It inhibits the documentation of ongoing human rights abuses at a time when conflict is escalating. We continue to call on the government of Myanmar to immediately restore internet access in Rakhine and Chin State and to repeal Article 77 of the Telecommunications Law.
We are also concerned about the aggressive use of Myanmar’s repressive legal framework to silence government and military critics, youth activists, and anti-war protesters. In particular, we condemn the conviction and imprisonment of six members of the Peacock Generation thangyat troupe for a satirical performance deemed critical of the government.
We continue to call on the Myanmar government to reform or repeal the laws routinely used to target journalists, human rights defenders and government critics, including the Official Secrets Act, Unlawful Associations Act, Telecommunications Act, Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, the Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens, and the Penal Code.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.