Tell Secretary Blinken to Protect the People of Myanmar | Physicians for Human Rights

Tell Secretary Blinken to Protect the People of Myanmar

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Since the military overthrew Myanmar’s democratically elected leader earlier this year, the country has experienced some of the worst human rights violations imaginable: unlawful and arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings. The last few weeks have seen the bloodiest crackdown yet: civilians are being killed in staggering numbers, among them children as young as five years old. 

It is clear that the Myanmar army will not end its reign of terror unless the United States and the international community uses the full weight of their influence to make it stop. Please, join with Physicians for Human Rights today to show your solidarity with the people of Myanmar. 

Your Message
Protect the People of Myanmar Now
Dear Secretary Blinken,

I urge you to take action and lead efforts to resolve the public health and human rights crisis in Myanmar. In the two months since the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) initiated a coup d'état, the country has seen widespread peaceful protests demanding a return to democracy. Security forces are responding with increasingly brutal crackdowns defined by some of the worst human rights violations imaginable: unlawful and arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings.

The military’s crackdown is also generating a public health crisis, as forces occupy hospitals and persecute health care workers. Doctors have been threatened with arrest if they do not return to health facilities under military control, and some providing care in military-occupied hospitals have reported fear of threats and attacks. The military has critically impeded Myanmar’s health care system – including its COVID-19 testing, treatment, and immunization efforts. The potential global implications of the public health crisis are increasingly alarming and require an international response.

The Tatmadaw continues to arbitrarily detain civilians who oppose its rule. Since February 1, at least 2,931 people have been detained by the military, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. This number includes physicians, nurses, and even medical students. Reports show the military has denied medical support and attention to detainees in need and has tortured and carried out extrajudicial killings of detainees.

It is critical that you use the full authority of the United States government and the diplomatic efforts of the State Department to help bring the Myanmar military’s brutal crackdown to an end and advance justice and accountability for the full scope of international crimes committed against the people of Myanmar.

To protect public health and uphold human rights in Myanmar, I ask that you:

• Secure the cooperation and support of regional partners that have unique capacity and influence – such as member states of the Association for South East Asian Nations – to advance accountability and a concerted humanitarian response to the crisis in Myanmar, including targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of human rights abuses and immediate aid for the people in Myanmar and refugees who have fled;

• Work with other global leaders to exert the necessary pressure to secure access to detainees for independent health care providers; and

• Demand transparency about the COVID-19 situation in Myanmar and ensure that access to testing, personal protective equipment, and immunizations remains available to all civilians.

I hope that you will consider the dire public health and human rights situation in Myanmar and lead the efforts to resolve this crisis.

Thank you,


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