UN: Citizenship stripping must stop and accountability for international crimes must be ensured in Myanmar

The ICJ, today and last Friday, delivered oral statements before the UN Human Rights Council during dialogues with the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling for accountability for crimes and human rights violations, including arbitrary stripping of citizenship, in Myanmar.

1) before the UN Secretary General:

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President

One year after the military illegally usurped power, the situation of human rights and rule of law continues to deteriorate and the military enjoys absolute impunity for its actions, including crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights.

The most recent measure adopted by the military junta strips 11 members of the National Unity Government (NUG) of their citizenship, rendering them stateless.

On 1 March 2022 the military government made the National Registration Cards necessary for travel even inside the country beginning 1 April 2022. A household registration certificate is made a prerequisite to apply for an NRC. Many people in rural Myanmar, especially ethnic minorities such as Rohingyas, do not have such certificates. These actions arbitrarily interfere with the right to freedom of movement.

New policies exacerbate the longstanding discrimination in citizenship in Myanmar that has enabled acts of genocide against Rohingyas and gross violations of the rights of persons from several ethnic minorities.

ICJ calls on the Council to demand the military regime immediately stop stripping people of their citizenship and to or implement any other law or policy in violation of human rights.

I thank you.”

2) before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr. President,

Since the military coup d’etat, hundreds of people have been unlawfully killed and thousands have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, sexual abuse and torture and ill-treatment. Acts amounting to war crimes continue in the decades-long military conflict with several of the ethnic groups.

There is no effective remedy available for these victims. The judiciary is under the control of the military. Lawyers have been arrested, threatened and harassed by the security forces. Military tribunals have been trying civilians and frequently imposing the death penalty or lengthy prison sentences with hard labour.

Courts have been moved into prisons facilities to make it impossible for the public and media to attend hearings. Sham trials have been conducted without due process and fair trial rights, including against State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint as well as thousands of other people. The extension of a State of Emergency grants the military the powers to continue these crimes with impunity.

The ICJ asks the Council to call on the Security Council to refer the case of Myanmar to the ICC and to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar’s security forces, including a prohibition on security assistance and the sale of dual-use technology.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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