With reports of executions in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights office has admitted that it has failed to save the lives of peaceful protesters in Myanmar.
By Rakesh Raman
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, on July 24 condemned the Myanmar junta’s execution of former parliamentarian Phyo Zeyar Thaw, longtime pro-democracy activist Ko Jimmy and two others, as reported by the junta.
“I am outraged and devastated at the news of the junta’s execution of Myanmar patriots and champions of human rights and democracy. My heart goes out to their families, friends and loved ones and indeed all the people of Myanmar who are victims of the junta’s escalating atrocities,” the Special Rapporteur said.
He added that these individuals were tried, convicted, and sentenced by a military tribunal without the right of appeal and reportedly without legal counsel, in violation of international human rights law.
In December last year, a Myanmar court sentenced local leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison under charges of inciting dissent and breaking Covid rules under a natural disasters law. The verdict was believed to be the first in a series of actions by the Myanmar rulers that may imprison her for life.
Ms Suu Kyi faces 11 charges in total, which she has refuted. She has been in detention since a military coup in February 2021 which toppled her elected civilian government. Currently, she is being held at an undisclosed location. Win Myint, the former president and Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party ally, has also been jailed for four years under the same charges.
Later, in April 2022, the court ruled that the overthrown leader Aung San Suu Kyi will serve a 5-year prison sentence in a corruption case which is largely believed to be fabricated. The case is stated to be the first of 11 corruption charges against the Nobel laureate, each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. As the military junta is holding her trials clandestinely, the full details of the case are not known.
With reports of executions in Myanmar, the UN Human Rights office has admitted that it has failed to save the lives of peaceful protesters in Myanmar. In fact, the UN human rights officials keep releasing meaningless condemnation statements but they cannot save the lives of the victims of human rights violations and other crimes perpetrated by cruel authorities in different countries such as Belarus, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, and so on.
Since the UN Human Rights office has lost its relevance, it must be shuttered immediately and the UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet should resign instead of sitting on her chair idly.
Use of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and Establishment of International Court to Punish State Aggressors
The UN and the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have repeatedly failed to protect human rights of citizens in different parts of the world. The casual statements and recommendations of the UN bureaucrats and other world leaders are being ignored by the rogue states which are supposed to follow them.
In such circumstances, the world leaders must use Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which specifies the UN Security Council’s powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and to take military and non-military action to restore international peace and security.
Today, hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats, police personnel, and court judges under the tyrannical regimes are committing extreme crimes and human rights violations in different parts of the world. These include Belarus, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, and so on.
As their offences constitute genocide, crime of aggression, crimes against humanity, and the corrupt local judicial systems cannot convict them, they must be prosecuted under an international judicial framework.
Therefore, an international court must be set up to prosecute and punish such aggressors in authoritarian regimes. The proposed court should work on the lines of the International Military Tribunal which was constituted at Nuremberg to prosecute Nazi war criminals for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. ~ Rakesh Raman
Ms Bachelet and her office have failed to understand a simple fact that the people of Myanmar want external military support to protect themselves from the cruel authorities; they don’t want casual statements from the UN Human Rights officials or other world leaders.
I’m devastated by news that former parliamentarian Zeyar Thaw and longtime activist Ko Jimmy were executed with two others today. UN Member States must honor their lives by making this depraved act a turning point for the world’s response to this crisis. My statement attached. pic.twitter.com/zhdBxFDXoo
— UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews (@RapporteurUn) July 25, 2022
“These depraved acts must be a turning point for the international community. What more must the junta do before the international community is willing to take strong action? The widespread and systematic murders of protesters, indiscriminate attacks against entire villages, and now the execution of opposition leaders, demands an immediate and firm response by member states of the United Nations. The status quo of international inaction must be firmly rejected,” the Special Rapporteur said in his statement.
Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews had issued such a rhetorical statement last year also when he said that the people of Myanmar need not only words of support but supportive action also. But when his meaningless statements are being ignored, Tom Andrews should have quit his position instead of occupying it eternally.
“Having made a mockery of the Five Point Consensus, Min Aung Hlaing has now callously rejected the personal appeal of the Chair of ASEAN, Prime Minister Hun Sen, to spare the lives of these individuals. ASEAN—and indeed all UN Member States—must take action that is commensurate with this outrage,” Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews suggested.
The military rulers in Myanmar have blatantly defied the repeated calls from world leaders to protect human rights of the citizens and restore democracy in the country.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
Support RMN News Service for Independent Fearless Journalism
In today’s media world controlled by corporates and politicians, it is extremely difficult for independent editorial voices to survive. Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service has been maintaining editorial freedom and offering objective content for the past more than 12 years despite enormous pressures and extreme threats. In order to serve you fearlessly in this cut-throat world, RMN News Service urges you to support us financially with your donations. You may please click here and choose the amount that you want to donate. Thank You. Rakesh Raman, Editor, RMN News Service.