Myanmar’s civilian gov’t UN envoy accused of treason

Bangkok Desk, Mar 17 (efe-epa).- The special envoy to the United Nations appointed by a committee representing Myanmar’s elected parliament was defiant Tuesday after he was charged by the military junta with treason, a crime punishable by death.

Dr Sasa was appointed special envoy to the UN by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), formed by some of the elected civilian lawmakers who could not formally take their seats due to the military taking control on Feb. 1 and then detaining elected leaders and cabinet members.

A court issued an arrest warrant for Dr Sasa on Tuesday at the request of the military for encouraging a campaign of civil disobedience, calling for international sanctions and the overthrow of the army.

“I am proud to have been charged with treason by the military junta – because treason against the junta means that I am standing with the people of Myanmar, giving my life for their freedom, for federal democracy and for justice,” Dr Sasa said in a statement Tuesday.

He also denounced that throughout his life he has witnessed “torture, forced labor, intimidation, rape and killing” against the Myanmar people “by the same military generals who today have accused me of high treason.”

“These military generals are the ones who today are ordering the army to kill unarmed civilians on streets across the country,” said Dr Sasa.

More than 200 people have died during the brutal violence of the security forces against the demonstrations against the junta, according to the latest data of the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) published Wednesday.

“We will go to international criminal courts so that justice is done for the people of Myanmar, once and for all,” the special envoy said.

Despite the violence, thousands of civilians continue to take to the streets of the country each day to demand the restoration of democracy from the military.

On Tuesday night, 488 civil society organizations in Myanmar expressed their “deep disappointment with the lack of action of the UN Security Council.”

The NGOs condemned the position of China, Russia, India and Vietnam, members of the current UNSC, who opposed the UN taking a firmer stance against the military junta.

“Inaction by the international community and allowing China, Russia, India and Vietnam to continue to shield the military will not only further embolden them to continue to commit these grave crimes that may amount to crimes against humanity, with blanket impunity, but also disregards the rule of law,” the joint statement said.

The military has justified taking power on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing and which resulted in a landslide victory for leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. EFE-EPA


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