Statement in Support of Former and Current Students in Myanmar

March 15, 2021

The Department of Political Science, CEU has two current students, Su Myat Wai Hlaing and Pwint Thwel, who are also participating in the protests and are in an extremely precarious situation. Our thoughts are with our Myanmar friends, former and current students at CEU. We are sharing their letter:

"Dear friends from all over the world,

We are writing this to express our concerns for all the university students who were subjected to arbitrary detention and harassment by Myanmar's military junta.

On 3rd March 2021, more than 300 students, who were peacefully participating in Tamwe and North Okkalapa Strikes in Yangon were arrested and subjected to brutal beatings by the police. They have been detained in Insein prison for more than a week. Despite the utmost efforts of respective student unions, university administrative officials and lawyers, no reliable information about the detainees and the prosecution process have been disclosed to us.

On 7th March, 2021, 72 students were arrested by the police during a crackdown of a peaceful sit-in protest at the corner of 22th street and 86th street in Aungmyaythazan Township, Mandalay. They are currently detained in Oe Bo prison.

According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners(AAPP)’s report on 8 March 2021, 647 students from different universities have been detained and charged throughout the country since 1st February 2021. According to the current situations, the detained students have been losing the following fundamental rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR):

Article 3 - The right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5 - Freedom from torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 9 - Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10 - The right to a fair trial and public hearing

Article 11 - The right to be considered innocent until they have fairly been proven to be guilty.

Moreover, torture and other inhumane acts are also prohibited by other international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Consequently, committing these crimes can be considered as committing crimes against humanity provided under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

Therefore, we are deeply concerned not only about the massive arrests of university students but also for the safety and well-being of our students as they might be subjected torture and various other ill-treatments during detention. We humbly ask for your attention to urge the military junta for the release of all detained students and to ensure that these students are humanely treated as much as possible during detention according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

You can do issuing statements or social media campaigns for the illegally detained university students in Myanmar.

With best regards,

University Students from Myanmar"