11. Februar 2021

Statement concerning the current situation in Myanmar

11 February 2021

Hsu Nandi (20) from Yangon:

“This is a fight for the termination of deep-rooted fear for our forthcoming generations. My future and my children’s futures are not at the disposal of men craving for power, so much to the point of detaining rightfully elected political leaders. History shall not repeat itself. Listen to us, help us write our history.”

Dear Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, 
Dear Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, 
Dear High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josef Borrell, 

The German section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom strongly condemns the military takeover in Myanmar and the accompanying arrest of the democratically elected members of the government as well as the increasing violence against peaceful protesters.

Peaceful protesters are subjected to massive violence and are severely restricted and threatened in their democratic rights of freedom of assembly and expression. We stand in solidarity with the citizens of Myanmar and support them in their protest for democracy and in their striving for a democratic future.

Military violence and repression disproportionately affect women and other marginalized groups such as ethnic and religious minorities. For years, organizations like the Women’s League of Burma[1] have been drawing attention to, among other issues, the systematic sexualised violence against women by the military, particularly in ethnic minority communities in the multi-ethnic state. 

We demand:

  • the immediate release of detained government officials and civilians and the restoration of the democratic government legally elected in November 2020. 
  • that the military guarantees the right to peaceful protest and that there will be no violence against demonstrators at any time.
  • that the internet blockade of social networks be lifted and access to internet and communication services be guaranteed at all times. Freedom of expression, data protection and the ability to exchange information must not be restricted. The recently announced repressive „Cyber Law“ bill must be revised.[2]
  • that the German government continues to strongly condemn the military takeover in Myanmar at the European and international level and suspends high-level political contacts with the Myanmar military.
  • that the Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josef Borrell, clearly condemn the military coup at the UN Human Rights Council meeting on Friday, February 12, 2021, and address the following human rights violations: Use of force against protesters, including the use of firearms and water cannons using water laced with chemicals; restriction of free expression, and the ability to share information through the blocking of social media and the recently released „Cyber Law“ bill.
  • that aid programs be scrutinized to determine whether they support the military and, if so, be terminated.
  • that the European Union and the United Nations adopt a resolution on this urgent political crisis and against human rights violations in Myanmar as soon as possible.

[1] Women’s League of Burma:  https://womenofburma.org

[2] Cyber Law Gesetzentwurf: https://www.reuters.com/article/myanmar-politics-internet-idINKBN2AA2AF