Report: Human Rights Abuses Have Expanded in Myanmar

    Photo: AFP [via Asia Times]

    The Facts

    • On Mon., the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) presented its latest report to the UN Human Rights Council, denouncing an alleged increase in international crimes in the Southeast Asian Nation after the military seized power in Feb. 2021.

    • Incidents that took place after the takeover have become the "major focus" of the investigation, as Myanmar's military reportedly resorted to using force to suppress mass protests. Estimates from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners indicate that more than 2K people have been killed and over 15K arrested over the past few months.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This crisis shows that the UN is either incapable or unwilling to protect basic rights as it has failed to halt violence for almost two years now. Indeed, Beijing and Moscow have blocked some efforts but the UN itself — which is quick to observe atrocities but slow to actually take action — is to blame. While the IIMM may promote future accountability, it won't bring immediate relief to the people currently suffering.

    Narrative B

    The purpose of the IIMM is to serve as a UN evidence-gathering body to ensure that the most serious international crimes in Myanmar reach the ICC, and that's exactly what it's doing. Although it may not be a perfect mechanism, it has gone a long way in collecting huge amounts of evidence that will hold those responsible for the atrocities being committed in Myanmar accountable — despite limited resources due to the war in Ukraine.

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