HRW denounces ‘spiral of atrocities’ of Myanmar military junta

Bangkok, Jan 31 (EFE).- Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that in the two years since it came to power by a coup, the Myanmar military junta has engaged in “a spiral of atrocities that gets worse and worse” against the population of the country.

In a statement marking the second anniversary of the Feb. 1, 2021 coup, Elaine Pearson, the organization’s Asia director, said “the spiral of worsening atrocities against the Myanmar population amounts to crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

The official also called the elections announced by junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing before August this year “fraudulent” and demanded that the Myanmar military face “international consequences for its crimes.”

“The Myanmar junta is trying to establish a patina of credibility by taking steps to hold elections, but the international community should not be fooled or intimidated into acknowledging this farce,” Pearson said.

“Free and fair elections cannot be held when the population is denied all basic rights and political opponents are locked up and disqualified,” she added about the elections, which make it difficult for opposition forces to participate due to a draconian law on political parties.

Amnesty International criticized the international response to the repression by the military and said the Myanmar junta “may carry out its national assault on human rights due to the shocking and inadequate global response to the crisis, which risks to be forgotten.”

Ming Yu Hah, the organization’s deputy regional campaign director, said the anniversary of Wednesday’s coup “should underscore the urgent need for global action by countries around the world and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to protect the Myanmar population, which is under daily siege by the army.”

Since the coup, 2,901 people have been killed by security forces, according to the Myanmar NGO Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, while more than 13,700 are arbitrarily arrested.

The military junta justifies the coup on alleged fraud during elections held three months earlier, won by the party of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, detained since the morning of the coup and sentenced to 33 years in prison for various crimes. EFE


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