Myanmar (Burma)
Urgent Interventions

Myanmar: Armed attack and detention of Man Zar Myay Mon

©The Irrawaddy


MMR 003 / 0621 / OBS 066
Armed attack /
Arbitrary detention /
At risk of torture
June 11, 2021

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Myanmar.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory was informed by the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA)[1] about the armed attack and detention of Man Zar Myay Mon, an environmental and land rights defender, member of MATA and of the Subnational Coordination Unit (SCU) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)[2] in Sagaing Region.

On the morning of June 8, 2021, Mr. Man Zar Myay Mon was met with a barrage of Tatmadaw soldiers while he was attempting to flee Shan Htoo Village, Chaung-U Township, Sagaing Region, following a raid by security forces. The soldiers shot him in the leg while he was riding a motorbike, immediately captured him, handcuffed him, and blindfolded him. He is being held at an interrogation center at the headquarters of the Tatmadaw’s Northwestern Command in Monywa, Sagaing Region at the time of publication of this urgent appeal. His family has not been able to contact or meet him since the arrest.

After he became a leading figure of peaceful anti-coup protests, in March 2021 Man Zar Myay Mon was charged with “incitement” under section 505(a) of the Penal Code for his participation in the demonstrations and an arrest warrant was issued against him, which forced him to go into hiding for the past two months with his wife in Shan Htoo Village.

Man Zar Myay Mon has worked for many years to promote accountability of the extractive industries for the benefit of local communities. He led a regional mining investigation and helped inform the development of mining legislation in Sagaing Region. Throughout this process he helped uncover many instances of corruption among government officials. He was also active as one of the community leaders in the Letpadaung mine protests in Sagaing Region[3]. Since February 2021, he led non-violent anti-coup protests in Chaung-U Township, Sagaing Region.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the arbitrary detention and the physical integrity of Man Zar Myay Mon. The Observatory expresses grave concern over the high risk of torture, enforced disappearance, and summary execution Man Zar Myay Mon is facing while in military custody.

The Observatory urges the military junta to immediately release Man Zar Myay Mon and guarantee in all circumstances his physical integrity and psychological well-being.

Actions requested:

Please write to the members of the military junta asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Man Zar Myay Mon, as well as of all human rights defenders in Myanmar;;

iii. Immediately and unconditionally release Man Zar Myay Mon, as his detention is arbitrary;

iii. Put an end to all attacks against Man Zar Myay Mon and all human rights defenders in Myanmar, and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance or fear of reprisals.


· Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services; Twitter: @CINCDS

· H.E. Mr. Myint Thu, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Email:

· H.E. Mr. Soe Lynn Han, Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; Email:

Please write to international and regional organisations, asking them to:

i. Urge the members of the military junta to immediately disclose the fate and whereabouts of Man Zar Myay Mon and to immediately and unconditionally release him, as well as to guarantee his physical integrity and psychological well-being;

ii. Issue public statements condemning the arbitrary detention of Man Zar Myay Mon and, more generally, the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society activists in Myanmar;

iii. Urge the members of the military junta, bilaterally and in multilateral fora, to halt the ongoing crackdown against civil society, to observe an immediate ceasefire, and to work towards a non-violent transitional process in order to restore peace in Myanmar.


· Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Twitter: @antonioguterres

· Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Email:, Twitter: @mbachelet

· Ms. Christine Schraner Burgener, United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Twitter: @SchranerBurgen1

· Mr. Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations, Email:, Twitter: @ASEAN

· Mr. Josep Borrell, European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Email:, Twitter: @JosepBorrellF

Please also write to the diplomatic missions of Myanmar in your respective countries.

Paris-Geneva, June 11, 2021

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail:
• Tel FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18
• Tel OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39

[1] The Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability is a network of over 400 civil society organizations and individuals who work on natural resource governance advocacy across all states of Myanmar. This entails working on extractive governance and promoting transparency and accountability of the exploitation of natural resources and its benefits to the broader public.

[2] The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) implements global standards to promote open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources.

[3] On November 29, 2012, security forces used white phosphorous, a highly toxic explosive substance, in a deliberate attack on villagers and monks who were protesting the negative impacts of the Letpadaung mine in Salingyi Township, Sagaing Region.