• Press Release

U.S. House Passes Burma Act – Senate Majority Leader McConnell Should Advance Myanmar Accountability

September 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after attending the Republican weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill, September 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. McConnell spoke on several topics including stalled gun control legislation. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the BURMA Act, legislation which would advance efforts to hold senior Myanmar military leaders accountable for crimes against the Rohingya and against other ethnic minorities in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan States. The military’s atrocities have killed at least thousands and have displaced more than a million people within Myanmar or to neighboring countries.

As the Senate prepares to vote on the BURMA Act, which requires President Trump to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by Myanmar military crimes across the country, including Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and to pursue justice against responsible Myanmar leaders, Amnesty International USA’s Asia Pacific Advocacy Manger Francisco Bencosme said:

“Over two years have passed since the world witnessed atrocities committed against Rohingya women, men, and children. Yet the U.S. Congress has so far failed to speak with a united voice on the issue. Further inaction by the U.S. sets a terrible precedent for other countries and risks emboldening the Myanmar military to continue committing crimes across the country.

“Just this year, we have seen more arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances against civilians in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan States. The time to support justice for ethnic minorities across Myanmar is long overdue.”

Amnesty International USA urges the Senate to swiftly and unequivocally stand with the survivors of these heinous acts, which amount to crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, and to advance efforts to end the culture of impunity that permeates the Myanmar military.