On 29 April 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, called for an investigation into allegations of ongoing atrocities in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin States.
As the UN Special Rapporteur emphasised, ‘While the world is occupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Myanmar military continues to escalate its assault in Rakhine State, targeting the civilian population.’ The UN Special Rapporteur added that ‘The Tatmadaw is systematically violating the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and human rights. Its conduct against the civilian population of Rakhine and Chin States may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. All parties to the conflict, including the Arakan Army, must also protect civilians.’
The UN Special Rapporteur stressed the urgent need to investigate the alleged atrocities and to bring all responsible to account.
The UN Special Rapporteur further raised the issue of tight restrictions on humanitarian access since January 2019 to many parts of Myanmar, humanitarian workers being targeted in the conflict, journalists going into hiding in fear of arrest having reported on the conflict, and the mobile internet shutdown since June 2019.
Lastly, the UN Special Rapporteur called upon Myanmar and its security forces to abide by the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures.
See more on the provisional measures here.
See full statement from the UN Special Rapporteur here.