Myanmar Situation Update (6 – 12 December 2021)

The junta’s special court sentenced on 06 December, 2021 ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and president U Win Myint to four years in prison for incitement against the military under section 505b of the Penal Code and section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law for breaching COVID-19 rules. Hours later, the junta announced it has reduced the prison term to two years. Aung San Suu Kyi also faces ten other charges, including six for corruption. Ousted Mandalay chief minister as well as vice chair of the NLD party Dr. Zaw Myint Maung were also convicted to four years in prison for alleged breaches of Covid-19 rules and incitement. 

A statement by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the trial was politically motivated. Charles Santiago, a Malaysian MP and the chair of the Asian Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said “No-one is fooled by the sentencing. Since the day of the coup, it's been clear that the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi also said in a statement that they are deeply concerned by Myanmar's conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi and called for the rule of law and democratic processes to be upheld. Responding to the criticisms, the junta’s information minister affirmed that Myanmar's judicial system was impartial and that no one was above the law.

Junta-appointed foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh. Hun Sen also said junta officials should be invited to meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Cambodia holds the chair of ASEAN for 2022. According to junta media, the Cambodian Prime Minister and the junta foreign minister exchanged views on the potential in developing bilateral interest and proceeding close relationships in the regional and international community. Hun Senhas confirmed his visit to Myanmar in January at the invitation of senior general Min Aung Hlaing, which has been criticized  by Myanmar activists.

U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet urged Cambodia not to make any concessions to Myanmar's junta. Responding to the media, spokesmen from the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Singapore remains deeply concerned about recent developments in Myanmar and disappointed by the lack of tangible progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.

Myanmar people across the country staged a “Silent Strike” on Friday under the motto “Our city, Our rule”. Streets in many towns and cities across Myanmar were deserted, businesses shut between 10am and 4pm to signal defiance against the junta.

According to the junta's Ministry of Health, 12.57 million of Myanmar people had received two shots and 5.59 million one shot with 30.75 shots in total as of 7 December.

The Myanmar Accountability Project (MAP), handed evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and urged it to open a criminal investigation on Myanmar’s junta for its crime against humanities. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh sued Facebook for $150 billion over the company’s alleged failure to prevent its platform from being used to incite violence against the minority group. Facebook, Meta Platforms Inc, has expanded its ban on all Myanmar-military controlled businesses from having a presence on its platforms.

Mhu Yadanar Khet Moh Moh Tun, a journalist of Myanmar Press Photo Agency, awoke from unconsciousness but her family members were still not allowed to see her. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called to immediately and unconditionally release two journalists who were arrested after sustaining injuries covering anti-coup protests. Four people, 3 journalists from Kanbawza Times Media and a family member, were sentenced to 3 years in prison by the junta’s court.

255 civil society organizations have urged the UN agencies not to deal with the Myanmar junta and asked them to stop all forms of collaboration including funding and programs which might lead to recognition of the legitimacy of the junta.

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 39 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least 21 people were injured and 10 died.
As of 11 December, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) recorded that 1,329 people have been killed by the junta. 7,954 people are currently under detention and 385 are sentenced. 75 have been sentenced to death and 1,964 are evading arrest warrants.

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