ASEAN urged to act against Myanmar over violation of human rights
Asia Pacific Focus

ASEAN urged to act against Myanmar over violation of human rights

Human rights groups, activists, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to probe Myanmar’s military chief for crimes against humanity. 

Calls are being made to consider the nation’s ousting from the bloc, as member states are gearing to attend a regional summit on the crisis this week.

Amnesty International urged Southeast Asian countries, on Friday, to launch a probe into the Myanmar coup leader’s crimes against humanity as reports came that he will attend a regional summit. 

Amnesty in a statement said: “As a party to the United Nations Convention against Torture, it is a legal obligation upon Indonesia to extradite or prosecute a suspected perpetrator on its territory”.

The summit is to be held on Saturday in Jakarta, Indonesia. As the host country says that Min Aung Hlaing will attend the summit, authorities in Myanmar have refrained from commenting on the reports.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha have said that they will send their foreign ministers instead of participating in the summit themselves. Other ASEAN members include Myanmar, host country Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, and Vietnam.

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On Thursday morning, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Prayuth, in a phone call, discussed the summit. Prayuth said that Myanmar’s situation is a challenge for peace and stability in the region. 

The meeting is the first proper international effort to settle the crisis in Myanmar, where hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have been killed by the security forces since the February coup. 

Experts see this as a test case for ASEAN, which usually does not interfere in the internal affairs of any member state and carries out operations by consensus. Myanmar’s military has not shown any sign of wanting a dialogue with the members of the government it ousted. Many of the members have been accused of treason by the Junta, which is punishable by death

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