UN told Myanmar has gone from ‘bad to worse to horrific’

Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews says the people of Myanmar are increasingly frustrated with an international community they feel has failed them.

Tom Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has said that conditions for Myanmar’s 54 million people have gone from “bad to worse to horrific” since the military seized power last year.

Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Andrews said the international response to the crisis caused by the February 2021 coup had “failed” and that the Myanmar military was also committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, including sexual violence, torture, deliberate campaign against of civilians, and murder.

Andrews was addressing the council on Wednesday, a day after it emerged that at least 11 children had been killed in a helicopter attack on a school in north-central Sagaing where the armed forces claimed anti-coup fighters were hiding.

Myanmar was plunged into crisis when Senior General Min Aung Hlaing arrested re-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and seized power on the day the new parliament was due to sit.

People took to the streets in mass protests and began a nationwide movement of civil disobedience to which the military responded with force, leading some civilians to take up arms. More than 2,300 people have been killed since the coup and thousands arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a civil society group monitoring the situation.

Andrews told the Human Rights Council that 295 children were among those in detention, while at least 84 political prisoners were on death row.

The military caused outrage in July when it hung four pro-democracy activists, including a prominent former member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, marking the first use of the death penalty since the late 1980s.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing secured a much coveted meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok earlier this month [File: Valery Sharifulin/Sputnik via AFP]

Earlier this week, the head of the UN team investigating human rights abuses in Myanmar also spoke to the Human Rights Council, telling member states that the scope and scale of alleged international crimes taking place in Myanmar had “broadened dramatically”.

Nicholas Koumjian of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) told the council that incidents following the coup were now also a “major focus” of its investigations.

Senior generals and those with links to the military have been hit with western sanctions, as well as some of the military’s own businesses, while some international businesses have pulled out of the country.

In response, the generals have deepened ties with Russia, which has also been isolated over its invasion of Ukraine.

Given the situation, Andrews said the international community needed to take “stronger, more effective action to deprive the junta and its forces of revenue, weapons and legitimacy”.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which admitted Myanmar as a member in 1997, has been leading diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, but the generals have ignored the five-point consensus that was agreed in April 2021.

As a result ASEAN has barred military appointees from its annual summit, but earlier this week Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the group needed to consider whether more needed to be done and whether the consensus should be “replaced with something better”.

Saifuddin has also argued that ASEAN should engage with the National Unity Government (NUG) set up by the elected officials who were pushed from power, drawing an angry rebuke from the Myanmar military.

Source link


First Covid, now monkeypox – India’s role is key in the scramble for jabs

Rishabh Kumar woke up in his California bedroom in...

Pakistan reports 55 coronavirus cases, no death in 24 hours

Pakistan has reported no death in the last...

4IR can help us weather the storm

Across the world climate change is impacting our planet...

Follow the 9News live breaking news blog throughout the day

The telco giant has announced it will offer 12...

Japan warns against speculative yen moves amid sharp declines

Finance minister says government and Bank of Japan are on same page in sharing concerns about the currency’s fall.Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki has...

Iran ‘ready to provide answers’ on nuclear probes, FM says 

NEW YORK — Iran’s foreign minister said that his country is ready to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve questions...

From EU to immigration: What Italy’s next government plans to do

A right-wing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party has emerged victorious in the country’s general election. The far-right Brothers are projected to...