WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in advance of the first anniversary of the coup in Burma on February 1:
“Tomorrow marks one year since the Tatmadaw carried out a violent military coup d’etat in Burma, brutally overthrowing the democratically-elected government and wrongfully imprisoning elected leaders, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Over the last year, the junta has conducted a brutal campaign against Burma’s ethnic minorities, assaulted civil society leaders, suppressed free press, and otherwise sought to crush those fighting for democracy.
“The United States will continue to support the aspirations of the Burmese people, including their efforts to secure democracy and their pursuit of genuine ethnic and national reconciliation, in addition to their internationally-recognized human rights. We will do all we can to provide assistance to the people of Burma and to hold those responsible for human rights abuses to account.
“As we commemorate this somber day in Burma’s history, we reaffirm our call for the military to stop killing and torturing the people of Burma, and to immediately release all political prisoners, including Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Burma must return to civilian rule.”