UN experts decry alleged incommunicado detentions

04 September 2019
UN experts decry alleged incommunicado detentions
United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18 July 2019. Photo: Fazry Ismail/EPA

UN rights experts voiced alarm Tuesday at the Myanmar military's alleged incommunicado detention of Rakhine men and boys, as well as allegations of torture and deaths in custody.

They voiced grave concern at reports that numerous ethnic Rakhine men and boys had recently been taken into custody and held incommunicado for weeks at a time over terrorism allegations, with many reporting they were tortured while detained.

"The practice of incommunicado detention must be immediately brought to an end," the three experts, who are independent and do not speak for the world body, said in a statement.

"We are distressed by the use of incommunicado detention where individuals are suspected of being associates of the Arakan Army," said the experts including Yanghee Lee, a specialist on human rights in Myanmar.

The signatories also included Agnes Callamard, expert on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, and Nils Melzer, expert on torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

They called on the military to make the results of its ongoing investigation into those deaths public, and to hold the perpetrators accountable.