UN denounces growing repression in Myanmar with 1,900 deaths since coup

Geneva, Jun 14 (EFE).- The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denounced Tuesday the devastating consequences of the Feb.1, 2021 military coup on the people of Myanmar, which has resulted in 1,900 people dead and another one million displaced.

Another 14 million are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, while the people remain trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, displacement, human rights violations and abuses, Bachelet told the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The Military Junta’s tactics against the civilian population include the complete destruction of villages, which could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, said Bachelet, who will step down on Aug.31.

Local residents are being arrested, and in some cases have disappeared or been used as human shields, according to Bachelet, who underlined that one of the tactics most used by the army is the arson of villages, residential buildings, schools and temples.

“Some estimates indicate that up to 11,000 places have been burned since last year’s coup, underlined the former Chilean president, who also expressed concern over allegations that the Tatmadaw (Myanmar army) was trying to militarize entire populations as well as the police force.

Bachelet also lamented the continuing Internet cuts in large areas of the country, as well as the harassment and persecution of journalists or people trying to denounce human rights violations committed across the country.

Since the coup, more than 13,500 people, including politicians, journalists, lawyers and civil society leaders, have been arrested for their opposition to the military junta, and more than 10,000 of them remain in custody, the High commissioner said.

Bachelet concluded her updated report on the situation in Myanmar by urging the international community, including members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to intensify pressure on the military regime.

This pressure could include sanctions against military-held financial interests, as well as limiting their access to foreign exchange to reduce their ability to purchase military equipment, she said. EFE


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