Coup in Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi will come to regret her loss of stature

February 1, 2021

Many institutions have responded negatively to the arrest of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and others in the context of a military coup Myanmar. A military-owned television station announced that a one-year state of emergency was being imposed under the authority of the Commander in Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, Ming Yu Hah, said: “The arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, senior officials and other political figures is extremely alarming. Unless those detained can be charged with a recognizable criminal offence under international law, they must be immediately released.

This is an ominous moment for people in Myanmar, and threatens a severe worsening of military repression and impunity. The concurrent arrests of prominent political activists and human rights defenders sends a chilling message that the military authorities will not tolerate any dissent amid today’s unfolding events.

Previous military coups and crackdowns in Myanmar have seen large scale violence and extrajudicial killings by security forces. We urge the armed forces to exercise restraint, abide by international human rights and humanitarian law and for law enforcement duties to be fully resumed by the police force at the earliest opportunity.

While this kind of coup d’état is clearly shocking, I fear that Aung San Suu Kyi will come to regret her anti- human rights behaviour of the last years which have led several award givers to rescind their human rights award [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/09/03/myanmar-time-for-aung-san-suu-kyi-to-return-at-least-some-of-her-many-human-rights-awards/]. It should not play a role in condemning the coup d’état, but one can imagine the outpouring of support for her that would have followed if she had not tarnished her image. See also: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-withdraws-award-from-aung-san-suu-kyi/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/02/aung-san-suu-kyi-others-arrested-military-coup/

https://news.sky.com/story/aung-san-suu-kyi-from-symbol-of-human-rights-to-fighting-claims-of-genocide-12205035

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/2/164683/Rights-groups-denounce-Myanmar-generals%27-disdain-for-elelctions

https://www.dw.com/en/who-is-myanmars-aung-san-suu-kyi/a-56406128

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