September 12, 2023

Burma: Human Rights in the Aftermath of the Coup

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission 

Hearing Notice

Burma: Human Rights in the Aftermath of the Coup 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

H-313, the Capitol

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on human rights in Burma in the aftermath of the February 2021 coup d’état.

On February 1, 2021, in response to the November 2020 election in which Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, won a parliamentary majority, the Burmese military undertook a coup d’état, installed a junta and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders. Burma’s multiethnic population reacted with protests and general strikes that were violently suppressed, generating widespread political and armed resistance that has drawn on the decades-long fight for greater autonomy in ethnic regions. The military has repeatedly used lethal force against peaceful protestors, waged offensives, including with airstrikes, against ethnic minority militias, and allegedly committed a wide range of other human rights violations and infractions of international humanitarian law, including targeted killings, burning of villages, and sexual violence. According to the State Department, since the coup nearly 3,000 people have been killed, nearly 17,000 detained, and more than 1.5 million displaced. Steps taken by the United States, the UN, ASEAN and other international actors with the goal of restoring democracy in Burma, including imposing sanctions, have not succeeded to date. The junta has announced that it intends to hold nationwide elections at some point in 2023, but the State Department has said the elections “cannot be free and fair” under current conditions. Meanwhile, 900,000 forcibly displaced Rohingya, victims and survivors of crimes against humanity and genocide, remain in Bangladesh with no solution to their crisis on the horizon.

Witnesses will review the human rights situation in Burma in the aftermath of the coup; discuss the response of the United States and the international community, including implementation of Executive Order 14014 and BURMA Act provisions as well as accountability initiatives; and offer recommendations for policymakers.

Panel I          

  • Melissa A. Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State
  • Michael Schiffer, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Erin Barclay, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Department of State
  • Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, Department of State

Panel II          

  • Tom Andrews, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

Panel III          

  • Aye Chan Mon, Burmese medical doctor who was in Naypyidaw at the time of the coup and was evacuated with the help of the U.S.
  • Lucky Karim, Rohingya activist and humanitarian worker

This hearing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via the Commission website and will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern) or Mark Milosch (for Co-Chair Smith).

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