Myanmar: ICJ intervention on the follow-up and implementation of the Vienna declaration and programme of action

ICJ Intervention under Item 8 on the Follow-up and Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

Mr. President,

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action stipulate the responsibility of Governments to provide for prevention and protection against violations of human rights. The urgent measures must be taken in cases of gross and systematic as well as urgent and continuous violations of human rights.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) draws Council’s attention to the escalating situation in Myanmar, where the Government has again responded to the peaceful protests with violence, beating demonstrating monks and other civilians taking part in the marches, and by deterrent measures, including shooting in the air and raiding monasteries to prevent further uprising.

Current situation has once again proved that attempts by the Junta Government for a democratisation of the country have been a masquerade.

The ICJ condemns in strongest terms the suppression of peaceful protests, detentions of participants in them, recent arrests of political opponents in Myanmar, as well as great numbers of political prisoners, including house arrest of Daw Aung San Su Kyi.

The ICJ calls on the Human Rights Council to act decisively along other relevant UN bodies to prevent the bloodshed in the country. While recognising that there are numerous instruments at the disposal of the relevant UN bodies, including the possibility of holding the Council_s special session, and without prejudice to their deployment, the ICJ calls for the following:

  • To condemn the Government for continuing violations of human rights, including suppression of the freedom of expression and assembly, forced labour, intrusions into rights of members of the ethnic minorities and vast internally displaced persons and refugee populations. Such violations run counter to any serious constitution-drafting and democratization process.
  • To urge the Government of Myanmar to cease the violations of human rights, refrain from using the violence in suppressing peaceful manifestations in exercise of the freedom of expression and assembly; release those detained in demonstrations and all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Su Kyi and stop raiding against monks.
  • To urge the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy heading to the country and to provide for urgent visit to the country, and unhindered access to, by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to monitor the human rights situation in light of the recent escalation.

Finally, the ICJ requests that the first hand evidence be submitted to the Council no later than 31 October 2007 for the Council to take further necessary action.

Mr. President, the world has been watching and awaiting the deeds.

Myanmar-ICJ Vienna Declaration HRC-Open letters-2007 (full text, PDF)

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