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Call for cessation of reprisals against civil society in Myanmar

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, was essential to ensure open debate.

In this context, we were deeply concerned to learn this week of the arrest of a civil society representative, who took part in the EITI multi-stakeholder group in Myanmar prior to the country’s suspension. Reports from the country indicate that Kyaw Minn Htut was detained on 6 September 2021, along with some of his family members, and may be at risk of physical harm.

Actions of this nature are examples of restrictions of civic space, which are contrary to EITI’s protocol on the participation of civil society. Such actions reinforce the case for continued suspension of Myanmar from the EITI process. We therefore urge the military to take all necessary steps to prevent further incidents of this nature and to ensure the safety of EITI office holders such as Kyaw Minn Htut, who have worked to promote transparency and inclusive governance. We further urge the authorities to release Kyaw Minn Htut, along with any of his family members who remain in detention.

Mark Robinson