UN body closely monitoring situation in Myanmar

Published February 12, 2021, 11:40 AM

by Andrea Aro

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) under the United Nations (UN) said on Thursday that it is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar. 

Protesters wearing traditional Shan dress hold signs as they take part in a demonstration against the Myanmar military coup in Inle lake, Shan state on February 11, 2021. (Photo by Calito / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Reports of incidents such as the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and the detentions of political leaders, members of civil society, and protesters were all being closely monitored, Nicholas Koumjian, head of the mechanism said in a statement. 

The Myanmar Mechanism was founded in 2018 by the UN Human Rights Council and is mandated to collect evidence of “the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011,” including serious human rights. 

The mechanism is also mandated to prepare case files for national, regional, and international courts to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable. 

“The mandate is ongoing and continues to cover all such crimes and violations of international law committed in the territory of Myanmar,” Koumijan said.

Issues such as constitutional processes, elections, and democracy are not within the scope of the Myanmar Mechanism’s work, he added.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, staged a coup, and declared a one-year state of emergency. 

Thousands of protesters rallied on the streets to condemn the coup that brought a 10-year experiment with democracy to a crashing halt. (With a report from Agence-France Presse)