ICRC statement on latest developments in Myanmar — 28 March 2021

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed by increasing numbers of fatalities and people injured or detained in a context of continuing violence and growing humanitarian consequences in many states and cities of Myanmar.

The ICRC urges the security forces to take all possible measures to ensure that the use of force and firearms is strictly controlled. Law enforcement officials may only use force when this is absolutely necessary and when all feasible precautions have been taken to ensure respect for human life. The lethal use of firearms must be avoided - unless this is strictly necessary to protect people against an imminent threat to life and when all other less extreme measures are insufficient.

The ICRC also recalls that people injured must have unimpeded access to prompt and adequate medical care, without further threats to their safety. It is critical to respect and support healthcare workers, volunteers and ambulances, and ensure that they are not obstructed nor threatened when caring for or evacuating injured or sick people to medical facilities.

The ICRC reiterates that all those arrested or detained must be treated humanely: their lives, physical integrity and dignity must be respected and protected in all circumstances. This includes providing information to detainees' relatives about their whereabouts and providing a means for regular family contact.

Finally, the ICRC recalls that the integrity and the dignity of those who lost their lives due to violence must be fully protected. In all circumstances, they should be respectfully handled, identified and returned to their families without delay.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.

The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening international humanitarian law (IHL) and universal humanitarian principles.

Burmese — ICRC statement on latest developments in Myanmar, 28 March 2021

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