Statement by Marzuki Darusman at the Launch of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar

March 4th, 2021  •  Category Statements

The aims of SAC-M are three-fold: strategy, advocacy and information. To begin with, we will be very much tied up with the third pillar – information. We will be clarifying from the ground. We can only assume that the junta is involved in counterpropaganda, so there needs to be counter clarification to inform the international public on what is really happening on the ground.

But more to the point, we have come together as a continuation of our mandates from the past, to discharge a call to assist and support the people of Myanmar in a different way. Expressing of course our concern that the work that we have done in the past continues at the moment. We are heartened that the [Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar] IIMM will be following what is happening on the ground. This speaks to the findings of the Special Rapporteur and Fact-Finding Mission in the past, and the clock is ticking on. Alleged crimes identified in the past continue unabated. Investigation is still needed.

In the past few weeks, we have seen torture and murder. This meets the criteria of the Rome Statute. It is very obvious what has happened. People have come to the police station and then been disappeared. Action of the junta has been aimed at the civilian community. This meets fully the criteria of crimes against humanity according to the Rome Statute.

On the basics: the opening of Myanmar over the past ten years in irreversible. The junta is facing a completely different public and people than it did in the past. This is a completely new situation. The mission of SAC-M is to ensure that there is clear understanding by the international community of what is happening in the country.

This junta is party to what has been committed in the past and what led the UN to set up the Fact-Finding Mission to look into the atrocities that took place in 2017. What is happening now is a continuation of those atrocities undertaken by the same Tatmadaw that committed alleged genocide in the past. It is now responsible for what appear to be crimes against humanity against the wider civilian population. As these violations continue, we are in constant communication with people on the ground and will amplify information to the international community.