Statement on the two-year anniversary of the attempted military coup in Myanmar by Rushanara Ali MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy in Burma
Today, I extend my solidarity to everyone in Myanmar who, two years after the attempted military coup, are still opposing the brutal military. I call on all illegally detained elected Members of Parliament to be immediately released, and for the release of all political prisoners. The use of torture and sexual violence against prisoners and detainees must stop immediately.
Two years after the attempted coup, over 17,000 people have been arrested and over 2,700 killed. Over one million people have been forced to flee their homes, and the military are using airstrikes almost daily, targeting civilians, schools, hospitals, and places of worship. This constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity and has caused a humanitarian crisis affecting millions. All of this has taken place in additions to the Rohingya genocide by the Myanmar military which led to around 800,000 being forced to seek refuge in Cox’s Bazaar in neighbouring Bangladesh, alongside over a 130,000 Rohingya people being internally displaced within Myanmar.
I welcome the UK Government’s lead on international sanctions, targeting the Myanmar military’s access to funds and arms. However, I urge the Government to dedicate more resources to speed up this process. It is simply not good enough that two years on from the Myanmar military coup there are still many companies providing revenue and arms to the military that are yet to be sanctioned.
Further, we urgently need to see aviation fuel to the Myanmar military sanctioned, to hinder the military from bombing its own population, which have led to large-scale displacement.
I also call on the Government to use its influence, working with other international partners, to increase efforts to stop countries such as India and Pakistan supplying arms and other equipment to the Myanmar military.
After many years of our campaigning efforts, the UK government declared its intention late in 2022 to join the International Court of Justice case against Myanmar on the Rohingya genocide, something which Myanmar Civil Society organisations, Rohingya organisations, International Human Rights organisations, the Foreign Affairs Committee and over 100 Members of Parliament from across the House of Commons had called on the Government to do for many years. The Government also declared its support in principle for a referral of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court, which I welcome.
The UK Government, as the pen holder in the UN Security Council for Myanmar, needs to urgently convene a UN Security Council meeting on Myanmar’s non-compliance with the provisional measures set out by the Court to prevent the continuation of the genocide against Rohingya. We also need to see increased humanitarian aid, both inside Myanmar through local civil society organisations with access to affected populations, and to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.