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Myanmar: Junta abuses and tortures detained women

In memory of Angel, the young Myanmarese protester killed recently - DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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According to recent reports, Myanmar’s military junta uses torture and sexual violence against detained women.
Victims complained about heavy beatings, sexual abuse during interrogations, misogynistic insults and death threats. 

Since the military coup on 1 February 2021, the junta has cracked down on protests and committed serious human rights violations including torture, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Myanmar’s army is also known for using sexual violence to crush minority communities at the border regions.

Despite the military’s threats, a nonviolent civil disobedience movement emerged nationwide, and millions started demonstrating in hundreds of townships. Myanmar is a conservative country with rigid gender roles and widespread gender-based violence. However, young women rose up and played a crucial role in the protests. They took to the streets and demanded the restoration of democracy.

Since the protests began, more than 750 people were killed, and more than 3700 people were detained according to civil society organisations. Local human rights defenders reported that even children had been arrested, detained, tortured and killed and that prisoners were left to die without necessary medical care.

Many countries and international organisations have condemned the coup, but only a few of them have taken concrete steps to pressure the military junta and its economic interests. We urge the international community to impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar to prevent further human rights violations against peaceful protesters and opponents to the military rule.

We ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to take concrete steps to prevent further human rights abuses against the people of Myanmar. It is the role of Southeast Asian leaders to promote regional stability and the respect for the rule of law in the region.

READ MORE:  UN General Assembly stands with the people of Myanmar

This statement is supported by individuals and organisations that are members of the SOS-Torture Asia Litigators’ Group and the Women and Torture Working Group, namely

Advocacy Forum Nepal
Asia Justice and Rights (AJR)
Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) – Cambodia
Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) – Afghanistan
Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) – Indonesia
Cristina Sevilla – Philippines
Cross Cultural Foundation – Thailand
Human Rights Office Kandy – Sri Lanka
Human Rights Organization of Nepal (Huron)
Mannar Women’s Development Federation – Sri Lanka
Masum – India
Muna Baig – Pakistan
Muslim Women Develpoment Trust – Sri Lanka
Odhikar – Bangladesh
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (Pahra)
Psychological Responsiveness NGO – Mongolia
Shreen Abdul Saroor – Sri Lanka
Upul Kumarapperuma – Sri Lanka
Women in Struggle for Empowerment (Wise) ­­– Pakistan
Women’s Action Network Sri Lanka
World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)
Youth for Human Rights Documentation (YHRD) – India

The following organisations are members of the SOS-Torture Asia Litigators’ Group:

Advocacy Forum Nepal
Cross Cultural Foundation, Thailand
GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation
Human Rights Alert Manipur
Human Rights Office Kandy
Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (Huron)
Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
Justice Project Pakistan
Maldivian Democracy Network
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (Pahra)
Quill Foundationn
Right to Life
“Spravedlivost” (Justice) Jalal-Abad Human Rights Organization
Women in Struggle for Empowerment (Wise)

Source: OMCT Communication

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