Coverage of SAC-M’s 14 December briefing paper in the Irrawaddy.
15 December, 2021
An independent group of former United Nations human rights observers, the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SACM), says the military junta should be designated and treated as a terrorist organization because of its extreme acts of criminal violence against civilians.
The junta has labeled the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which was founded by the ousted National League for Democracy lawmakers, the parallel National Unity Government (NUG) and People’s Defense Forces as terrorist organizations. Its propaganda says the groups have carried out assassinations, bombings and arson.
The SACM, an international human rights group, asked foreign governments and the UN to designate the junta as a terrorist organization.
On Tuesday, the group said the regime has been committing acts of extreme criminal violence, intended to provoke a state of terror so people will submit to its agenda.
“People in Myanmar have been calling the military terrorists ever since the post-coup violence began in February,” said South Korean diplomat Yanghee Lee of the SACM, a former UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar. “They are right. Only terrorists could commit such beastly acts.”
The group also published a briefing paper on Tuesday demonstrating how the junta is a terrorist organization under national and international law.
It said the three requirements to define a terrorist act are that it is intentional and targeted civilians, that it is intended to provoke a state of terror in the population or to compel action by a government and that it is a serious criminal offense.
“The military’s behaviour clearly falls within the definition of terrorism contained in international counter-terrorism treaties and it should be treated as a terrorist organisation by the international community,” said council member Chris Sidoti, a former member of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar.
“That means cutting off its access to weapons and cash. All remaining funds, financial assets and economic or other resources available to it, whether directly or indirectly, must be immediately cut off.”
The NUG declared the military as a terrorist organization in June and vowed to use all justifiable means to uproot the “terrorist military council”.
“The NUG rightly discharged its authority to prescribe the Myanmar military as a terrorist organization. The United Nations and other governments should do the same,” said Marzuki Darusman, a SACM member who chaired the UN fact-finding mission.