17 March 2021

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar is closely following events since the Tatmadaw’s seizure of power in February 2021 and collecting evidence regarding arbitrary arrests, torture, enforced disappearances and the use of force, including lethal force, against those peacefully opposing the coup.

Nicholas Koumjian, the Head of the Mechanism, has worked in seven different international courts over the last twenty years and handled cases that include the trials of Charles Taylor, the President of Liberia and Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, top leaders of the Khmer Rouge. According to Mr. Koumjian, “The persons most responsible for the most serious international crimes are usually those in high leadership positions. They are not the ones who physically perpetrate the crimes and often are not even present at the locations where the crimes are committed. To prove their responsibility requires evidence of reports received, orders given and how policies were set. This is normally not evidence that can be provided by the victims, but rather requires that those who received or were aware of illegal orders or policies reveal the truth. I encourage those who have such information to contact the Mechanism.”

Persons providing information to the Mechanism are encouraged to do so safely and with an abundance of caution. The Mechanism recommends using the following secure means of communication – downloading Signal and using its message service to contact the Mechanism at +41 76 691 12 08 or using a ProtonMail account and sending the message to contact@myanmar-mechanism.org. Your safety is of utmost importance to the Mechanism, therefore if at any time you believe it may be unsafe to share information via secure means of communication, please refrain until it is safe to do so. 

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council to collect evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar. The Mechanism is further mandated to build case files that could facilitate criminal proceedings in national, regional or international courts in order to hold individuals responsible for such crimes.