United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2021
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Arrests in the Alleged Plot Targeting Burma’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun
I am grateful that law enforcement moved swiftly to respond to the horrific alleged plot to seriously injure or kill my colleague and UN counterpart, Kyaw Moe Tun, Burma’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The United States stands in solidarity with Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who continues to demonstrate remarkable courage and bravery in speaking on behalf of the people of Burma who demand a return to democracy.
We are all fortunate this alleged plot, that was to take place on U.S. soil, was thwarted and that the suspected perpetrators were arrested and are now facing justice. We unequivocally condemn this threat to Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, which fits a disturbing pattern of authoritarian leaders and their supporters reaching across the globe – including into the United States – to persecute and repress journalists, activists, and others who dare speak or stand against them.
As I arrive at the Olympics to represent the United States, I am thinking of Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who has just landed in Poland as an asylum-seeker. She narrowly escaped the grip of the Lukashenka regime thanks to the quick intervention of Japanese law enforcement, and Poland’s offer of refuge.
Just last month, the U.S. thwarted an alleged Iranian plot to kidnap and imprison Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist and U.S. citizen. Iran’s alleged effort to silence a journalist in our country for reporting on the regime’s behavior is intolerable and appalling.
These are only the most recent acts of transnational repression, and they must be met with the condemnation of the world and with full and certain accountability. We will not stand for efforts by authoritarian regimes and their supporters and enablers to repress people on our soil or across borders, and we will continue to coordinate with allies and partners, including at the United Nations, to stand against transnational repression anywhere.