Photo credit: MgHla (aka) Htin Linn Aye/Wikimedia Commons

 The following resolution was adopted by the IADL Council, in virtual session, on 7 February 2021: 

IADL RESOLUTION CONDEMNING MILITARY COUP IN MYANMAR

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers strongly condemns the February 1, 2021 military coup in Myanmar. This military takeover is a dangerous attack upon the democratic process in Myanmar. It is a serious violation of human rights and poses a long term threat to peace in that region.

The military junta already curtailed freedom of speech and freedom of movement of the people of Myanmar. Politicians, human rights activists, journalists and members of civil society have been arrested arbitrarily. IADL calls for the immediate release from detention of National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi and its members and all other political detainees in Myanmar.

Under the constitution of Myanmar, military officers occupy 25% of the seats in Parliament. The NLD has been trying to amend this constitution. The coup comes against the background of the NLD’s victory in the Myanmar general elections of November 2020. The military’s actions to overturn the election results through violence poses a grave challenge to the rule of law and democracy.

Since the coup, the military has detained members and leaders of the opposition party and protesters, violently repressed protests against the coup and blocked all internet access in Myanmar. These actions violate the rights of the people of Myanmar to freedom of political activity and expression.

Many asylum seekers have fled Myanmar to neighboring Asian countries to escape the military regime. Further, this military coup will worsen the plight of some 600,000 Rohingya Muslims in the country. In 2017, a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State sent more than 700,000 Rohingya people fleeing into Bangladesh, where they are still stranded in refugee camps. Now the total number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh is about more than 10 million. The UN accused the Myanmar military of ethnic cleansing. Violation of international law and the ruling of International Court of Justice (ICJ) are continuing by the military rulers.

IADL calls upon for the immediate release of political prisoners, detained activists and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar. IADL urges the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning the coup and condemns the actions of those states that blocked such a condemnation from moving forward.