Defend Democracy in Myanmar

February 5, 2021

Democracy organizations from around the world call on the Myanmar military to fully respect the results of the recent national elections, release all detained political and civil society leaders, refrain from exerting violence, and allow the country to institute real democratic reforms.

We are deeply concerned by the detentions of President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Union Election Commission Chairman U Hla Thein, members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and civil society leaders and urge their immediate release.

We reject the claims that the military’s take-over is in line with the Myanmar constitution and that the recent elections were fraudulent. Although, according to a statement by 12 domestic election monitoring organizations, the November polls had some weaknesses as a result of restrictions due to COVID-19 and some flaws in electoral processes, “the election results were credible and reflected the will of the majority.” We strongly repudiate the spread of disinformation to justify the interruption of the democratic process.

Myanmar’s erratic democratic transition has been fraught with challenges. Yet, democracy still offers the best hope to protect human dignity, provide legitimate governance and advance the freedom of all people. We express our solidarity with the people of Myanmar and affirm our unwavering support for their democratic aspirations.

Following our global Call to Defend Democracy and The Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal, we call on the international community – particularly democratic governments – to act decisively to protect democracy in Myanmar and globally.

Organizations (as of February 5, 2021)

Asia Democracy Network
Association for Election and Democracy (PERLUDEM)
Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Democracy Research Institute (DRI)
Democracy Today
Democratic Decay & Renewal
Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC)
Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center
Executive Director at Women's Peace Network
Forum 2000
Freedom House
iLaw (Thailand)
Incarner l’Espoir
Institute for Public Affairs
International IDEA
International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) )
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of  Law
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
National Endowment for Democracy
Parliamentary Centre
Progressive Arch
Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
Sassoufit collective
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) 
The International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov)
The Oslo Center
V-Dem Institute
World Uyghur Congressw
Centre for Democracy and Development
Center for Development and Democracy (CDD)
Sector 3 
Endowment Prodemos
Democracy International
Alliance of Democracies Foundation
Al-Tahreer Association for Development (TAD)
Justice for All/Burma Task Force
Social Empowerment through education and knowledge - SEEK
The Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Individuals (as of February 5, 2021)

Sergio Aguayo, Professor, Colegio de Mexico, Visiting Scientist, Harvard University
Leila Alieva, President, Center for National and International Studies
Laura Alonso, 2021/21 Reagan-Fascell Fellow, NED
Yahya Assiri, Secretary-General of the National Assembly Party - NAAS
Line Bareiro, Lawyer, Political scientist
Christine Bell, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Edinburgh; Former Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers
Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Chair, Global Politics and Security Concentration and Professor in the Practice of International Affairs, Georgetown University
Sonja Biserko, Chair, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
Gerardo Bongiovanni, President, Fundación Libertad
Ladan Boroumand, Co-founder and Senior Fellow, Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran
Marcus Brauchli, Managing Partner, North Base Media 
Elmar Brok, Former Member of the European Parliament; Former Chairman, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee
Andreas Bummel, Executive Director, Democracy Without Borders
Gianni Buquicchio, President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission)
Martin Bútora, Founder and Honorary President, Institute for Public Affairs
Thomas Carothers, Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International IDEA
Ateki Seta Caxton, Executive Director, Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All
Cristiana Chamorro, Founder, the Violeta Chamorro Foundation
Ketty W. Chen, Vice President, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
Laura Chinchilla, Former President of Costa Rica; Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers
Javier Corrales, Professor, Amherst College in Amherst
Irwin Cotler, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Manuel Cuesta Morúa , Spokeperson, Progressive Arch, Proposal2020-Cuba in Plural
Tom Daly, Director, Democratic Decay & Renewal
Wang Dan, Founder, Think Tank Dialogue China
Srdjan Darmanovic , Professor, University of Montenegro; Former Foreign Minister of Montenegro; Former Ambassador of Montenegro to the USA
Frederik Willem de Klerk, Former President, South Africa
Humberto de la Calle, Former Vice President of Colombia
Liliana De Riz, Academic Advisor, Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de America Latina (CADAL)
Ronald Deibert, Director, Citizen Lab
Neelam Deo, retd Ambassador, Indian Foreign Service
Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Boris Dittrich, Member of the Senate of the Netherlands
Brigitte Dufour, Director , International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) )
Rafał Dutkiewicz , Former City Mayor of Wroclaw, Poland
Andrej Dynko, Editor-in-chief, Nasha Niva
Norman Eisen, Senior Fellow, Brookings
João Carlos Espada, Director, Institute for Political Studies,  Universidade Católica Portuguesa                            
Gareth Evans, President Emeritus, International Crisis Group
Nino Evgenidze, Executive Director, Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC)
Carlos Fara, Vicepresident, CADAL
Lee  Feinstein, Ambassador (ret.) , IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies 
Jan Fischer, Former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow, Stanford University
William Galston, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Adolfo Garcé, Professor, the Political Science Institute, Universidad de la República in Montevideo
Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy
Eka Gigauri, Executive Director, Transparency International – Georgia
Audrey Glover, Chair of Trustees, Foreign Policy Centre
Ana Gomes, Former Member of the European Parliament
Nicole Goodman, Associate Professor, Brock University; Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers
Leonid Gozman, President, Union of Right Forces
E. Gyimah-Boadi, Interim CEO and Board Chair, Afrobarometer
Tomáš Halík, President, Czech Christian Academy 
Thor Halvorssen, President, Human Rights Foundation
Sascha Hannig, Global Program's Coordinator, FPP Chile
Husain Haqqani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, Director, South & Central Asia, Hudson Institute
Heidi Hautala, MEP, Vice-president of the European Parliament Finland
Maiko Ichihara, Associate Professor, Hitotsubashi University
Hasler Iglesias, Youth Coordinator, Voluntad Popular 
Jose Miguel Insulza, Former Secretary of the OAS, National Senator of Chile
Francine Jácome, Executive Director, Instituto Venezolano de Estudios Sociales y Políticos
Ramin Jahanbegloo, Professor , Jindal Global University 
Hisham Kassem, Former Chairman, The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada 1990-2007
Marcus Kissa, Coordinator , Sassoufit collective
Jakub Klepal, Executive Director, Forum 2000
Bassma Kodmani, Political scientist, Democracy activist
David Kramer, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights And Labor, 
Celso Lafer, Emeritus Professor University of São Paulo; Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers
Sook Jong  Lee, Co-Representative, Asia Democracy Research Network
Guy Mafimba, Representative in Europe, Frocad-IDC-CJ3M 
Amichai Magen, Director of the Program on Democratic Resilience and Development , Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy, IDC Herzliya
Anar Mammadli, Chairperson, Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center
Giorgi Margvelashvili, Former President of Georgia
Myroslav Marynovych, Vice-Rector, Ukrainian Catholic University
Radwan A. Masmoudi, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID)
Penda Mbow, President, Mouvement Citoyen
Markus Meckel, Former Foreign Minister, Former Member of German Bundestag, 
Stefan Meister, Head of Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation
Thomas Melia, Washington Director, PEN America
Dan Meridor, Former Minister of Finance and Justice, Israel
Carlos Mesa, Former President of Bolivia
Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, Political prisoner , CJ3M 
Carlos Alberto  Montaner, Dissident, Cuba
Giorgi Muchaidze, Executive Director, Atlantic Council of Georgia
Thomas Mulcair, Former Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada
Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Democracy Chair, Hertie School of Governance
Surendra Munshi, Independent Researcher and Consultant, India
Joshua Muravchik, Adjunct Professor, Institute of World Politics
Moises Naim, Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 
Andrea Ngombet, Founder, Incarner l’Espoir
Ghia Nodia, Founding Director, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development
Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America
Wai Wai Nu, Human Rights and Democracy Activist, Executive Director at Women's Peace Network
Ayo Obe, Legal Practitioner, Nigeria
André Okombi Salissa , Political prisoner , Frocad-IDC-CJ3M 
Martin Palouš, Senior Fellow, Director of Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, Florida International University
Žygimantas Pavilionis, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, Lithuanian Parliament
Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, Founder Governor, Westminster Foundation for Democracy; Former Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Andrei Piontkovsky , Writer and Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute
Marc F.  Plattner, Coeditor Emeritus, Journal of Democracy
Bhojraj Pokharel, Former Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal; Co-Chair, the Carter Center’s Election Observation Mission in 2015 Myanmar’s Parliamentary Election
Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Professor, Chulalongkorn University
Arch Puddington, Senior Scholar Emeritus, Freedom House
Vesna Pusic, Professor, U. of Zagreb, former Minister of Foreign Affairs , Croatia
Iveta Radičová, Professor, Massmedia Faculty Paneuropen University Slovakia
Rafael Rincón, Director, Fundación para El Progreso
Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Former President of Costa Rica
Petre Roman, Former Prime Minister of Romania
Jacques Rupnik, Research Professor, Sciences Po
Gabriel Salvia, General Director, CADAL
Andrei Sannikov, Ambassador, European Belarus Foundagtion
Bengt Säve-Söderbergh, Former Secretary-General, International IDEA
Hugh Segal, Former Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Canada
Fatiha Serour, Former ASG, Somalia
Gulnara Shahinain, Chair, Democracy Today
Natan Sharansky, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Housing and Construction
John Shattuck, Senior Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Lilia Shevtsova, Board Member, Liberal Mission Foundation
Michael Shifter , President, the Inter-American Dialogue; Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies, Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service
Vasil Sikharulidze, Chairman, Atlantic Council of Georgia 
David Skaggs, Former US Congressman; Vice-Chair of the Board, National Endowment for Democracy
Eduardo Ulibarri Bilbao, Journalist
Kenneth Wollack, Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy
Jianli Yang, President, Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Leyla Yunus, Director, Institute for Peace and Democracy
Yevgeniy Zakharov, Director, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman, Georgian Farmers’ Association
Michael Žantovský, Executive Director, Václav Havel Library
Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Director, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of  Law
Ketevan Chachava, Steering Committee Member, World Movement for Democracy
Idayat Hassan, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development
Natia Zoidze, Executive Director, Sector 3
Archil Kanchaveli, Chairperson, Endowment Prodemos
Tamara Adrian, Member, National Assembly of Venezuela
Eric Bjornlund, President, Democracy International
Titi Anggraini, Member of the Advisory Board, Association of Elections and Democracy (Perludem)
Bambang Harymurti, Editor in Chief, Tempo
Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General, Community of Democracies
Uwe Holtz, Professor of Political Science, University of Bonn; Former Member, the German Bundestag and Chairman, Parliamentary Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development; Former Member, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – Germany
Daya Sagar Shrestha, Chairperson, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Serena  Sasingian, Co-founder, The Voice Inc.; Member of International IDEA's Board of Advisers
Melanne Verveer, Former US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues
Danielle Piatkiewicz, Project Manager, Alliance of Democracies Foundation
Abdalaziz Younis Aljarba, Executive Director, Al-Tahreer Association for Development (TAD)
Adem Carroll, UN Programs Director, Justice for All/Burma Task Force
Sher Afzal Gujjar, Executive Director, Social Empowerment through education and knowledge - SEEK
Emanuelis Zingeris, MP; Chairman, Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, The Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe