Publications

International lawmakers call for the immediate and unconditional release of their Myanmar colleagues, and for democracy to be upheld

22/03/2021

International lawmakers call for the immediate and unconditional release of their Myanmar colleagues, and for democracy to be upheld

International lawmakers call for the immediate and unconditional release of their Myanmar colleagues, and for democracy to be upheld

We, the undersigned parliamentarians from across the world express our solidarity with the elected representatives of Myanmar’s Parliament, call for the immediate and unconditional release of our colleagues, as well as all those arbitrarily detained since the February 1 coup, and for democracy and the rule of law to be upheld in Myanmar.

On 1 February, the day Myanmar’s new parliament was scheduled to open, the military junta staged a coup and grabbed all legislative, executive, and judicial powers. Since then, it has unleashed a campaign of terror and violence against the Myanmar people as part of efforts to crack down on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations that have swept the country.

At least 751 people have been killed, and almost 4,500 arrested since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

At least 60 of those detained are fellow elected parliamentarians including the State Counsellor, President and Vice President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Chief Ministers, and Union and regional-level Members of Parliament.

Most have not been seen for almost two months as they are detained in unknown locations, without charge or access to their lawyers, increasing risks of torture and ill-treatment. Some are detained in military barracks, such as tactical command centers.

The military junta has also issued arrest warrants against members of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) who, days after the coup, took an oath pledging to continue carrying out their mandate as representatives of the people.

Their only crime is to have been elected by the people of Myanmar to serve in Parliament. As global parliamentarians, we therefore support our colleagues’ efforts to protect the institution of the Parliament and to fulfill the mandates entrusted to them by the people in the November 2020 election.

Parliaments are the cornerstone of democracy and essential to attaining peace, development and protecting human rights. The duly elected Members of Parliament of Myanmar must be reinstated and Parliament be convened as soon as possible to allow them to conduct their mandate freely and without fear of reprisal.

We urge the international community and our respective governments to not lend recognition or legitimacy to the brutal Myanmar military regime and instead support us in our efforts, by establishing a comprehensive response to the crisis in Myanmar that ensures its military junta:

  • Immediately ends the use of violence against peaceful protesters and respects the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;
  • Abides by the democratic will of the Myanmar people and the rule of law;
  • Immediately and unconditionally releases all those arbitrarily detained; and
  • Allows Parliament to resume and elected MPs to fulfil their mandate without impediment.

Please see below a list of current MPs around the world who have signed onto the statement: 

TOP
APHR logo

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) was founded in June 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights across Southeast Asia. Our founding members include many of the region's most progressive Members of Parliament (MPs), with a proven track record of human rights advocacy work.

Social Links