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Free Rohingya Coalition condemns Myanmar coup, supports emerging anti-dictatorship movement

  • Published at 07:24 pm February 8th, 2021
Myanmar protest
File photo: People rally in a protest against the military coup and to demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 7, 2021 Reuters

The Myanmar military has shut down the Internet and blocked social media sites to suppress anti-coup protests, the coalition says

The Free Rohingya Coalition, an international network of Rohingya refugee activists, international human rights activists and scholars, has expressed their full support for protests against the military regime in Myanmar.

“We join hands with all of Myanmar peoples in their struggle to end 58-years of military repression, crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. We unequivocally condemn the coup of February 1 led by the Tatmadaw leadership of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing,” said a press statement released by the coalition on their website on Sunday.

The Tatmadaw or military have blocked the Myanmar public’s democratic aspirations since 1962, while committing international crimes against national minorities including Karen, Kachin, Shan and Rohingya people, the statement added. 

The coalition encouraged the emerging anti-coup movement to adopt an all-inclusive vision of human rights and the Union of Myanmar, and to oppose the exclusionary and divisive approach of the Tatmadaw. 

The statement further said there is no international law against which coup-makers can be criminally prosecuted, although they have received requests from Myanmar activists to campaign for the ICC to take action against the Tatmadaw generals for the February 1 coup. 

“However, we pledge that we will do everything in our power to hold the coup leaders accountable for their individual criminal responsibility at the International Criminal Court (ICC), support the International Court of Justice genocide case against the military-controlled state of Myanmar – NOT the people of Myanmar – and pursue other accountability and punitive measures.

“We are aware that Myanmar military usurpers have shut down the Internet and blocked any social media platforms, with a clear intent of crushing anti-coup popular protests.  Should the Myanmar coup leaders perpetrate international crimes against human rights and pro-democracy activists during this period, we will push for them to be held accountable,” the statement also said.

The coalition also called for targeted financial and economic sanctions, as well as other punitive measures, to be imposed against the Tatmadaw, military conglomerates, associate companies and businesses associates.

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