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UN rights office says more international involvement needed in Myanmar

More than 100 days since putsch, no signs of opposition weakening, and crackdown for all in Myanmar continues

Peter Kenny   | 12.05.2021
UN rights office says more international involvement needed in Myanmar

GENEVA

More than 100 days after the Myanmar coup, the military authorities show no signs of easing their brutal crackdown, and there must be greater international involvement to prevent the situation from deteriorating, the United Nations Human Rights Office said Tuesday.

“There is no weakening of the resolve of the civil disobedience movement and other facets of opposition to the coup leaders,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a UN press conference.

“It is clear that there needs to be greater international involvement to prevent the human rights situation in Myanmar from deteriorating further,” he said.

As of May 10, credible sources indicated the security forces were using “unnecessary, disproportionate and lethal force” to suppress demonstrations and other public participation, had killed at least 782 individuals since the Feb. 1 coup, the UN official said.

Of those in custody, the vast majority have not been brought before a judge, while most of the 86 people prosecuted to date have been tried in secret, with limited or no access to any legal counsel.

“Over the past month, the military leadership has issued over 1,561 arrest warrants targeting civil society activists, trade unionists, journalists, academics, public personalities, and online voices, so driving the vast majority of them underground,” said Colville.

“Despite the five-point plan agreed at the ASEAN leaders’ meeting on 24 April, the Myanmar military leadership has shown no sign of abiding by it,” said Colville.

“We call on ASEAN to react quickly and to intensify its actions to ensure the military keeps to these commitments and to hold them accountable for failing to do so.

In recent weeks, the coup leadership has dismissed, removed, or suspended more than 3,000 civil servants – nearly 70% of those targeted have been women.

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