Myanmar Terminates Citizenship of High-profile Dissidents

The military regime in Myanmar announced in March the termination of citizenship of 33 high-profile dissidents, a move critics described as an abuse of human rights and a breach of international law.

According to the State Media, the military’s policy to terminate those citizenships was because they committed “acts that could harm the interests of Myanmar.”

Those targeted included diplomats who refused to work for the military, members of a parallel government set up in opposition to last year’s coup, outspoken celebrities and prominent activists. 

“The junta’s desperate attempts to harm us and make us stateless are totally illegal and will not deter me nor my colleagues from our work… Indeed, it strengthens our resolve,” said Dr. Sasa, NUG spokesperson and minister of international cooperation. 

Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun who declared his continued loyalty to the overthrown government shortly after the coup was among those targeted dissidents.

Other diplomats included Myanmar Ambassador to the United Kingdom Kyaw Zwar Minn and Thet Htar Mya Yee San, a second secretary at the Myanmar embassy in the United States.

Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division Phil Robertson said that the policy is the latest example of the military “using citizenship as a weapon.”

Deputy Regional Director for Research at Amnesty International Emerlynne Gil also said that terminating citizenship is “inconsistent with international law” if it leaves the victims stateless.  

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