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Continuing reprisals against civil society in Myanmar

Statement from Mark Robinson, EITI Executive Director

Amid continuing reports of military harassment and violence against civilians and civil society representatives in Myanmar, the EITI has been notified of the arrest of Man Zar Myay Mon, a member of the Subnational Coordination Unit (SNU) of the EITI in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar. The arrest is believed to have taken place on 8 June 2021.

Since the military coup on 1 February, Man Zar Myay Mon has led nonviolent, democratic protests in Chaung Oo, in the Sagaing Region. Civil society groups in Myanmar are concerned for his welfare.

I echo these concerns and call for the immediate release of Man Zar Myay Mon, in line with the EITI’s civil society protocol which provides for civil society representatives to engage freely in public debate in relation to the EITI process and to speak freely on transparency and natural resource governance.

Myanmar was suspended from the EITI in February 2021 due to political instability. At the time of the suspension, the EITI Board noted that the participation of all EITI office holders in the reform process, including civil society, is essential to ensure open debate. It concluded that restoring effective multi-stakeholder oversight of the EITI process, and an environment where civil society is able to participate in an open debate, along with considerations relating to adherence to the EITI’s civil society protocol, would be factors in any lifting of the suspension.  This latest development adds to the substantial concerns about the current environment for civil society in Myanmar and constraints on their freedom to engage in the EITI process.

Mark Robinson