• Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:18 pm

UN experts warn Myanmar military of holding internationally accountable

  • Published at 08:00 pm February 26th, 2021
Myanmar Mandalay protest
A injured man lies on the ground after the police fired rubber bullets during protests against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 20, 2021 Reuters

Democracy must be restored and people will have to be allowed to protest, they say

A group of United Nations human rights experts have cautioned the Myanmar military that individuals involved in repressing and killing peaceful protesters will be held accountable internationally.

They also called on the Myanmar military to immediately end the violent crackdown on countrywide peaceful protests against its coup and allow free expression.

A total of 21 UN human rights experts also said that the military must restore democracy, allow people to protest and express themselves, according to the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on Friday.

"We warn the military junta that those who are responsible for repression and killing of peaceful protesters as well as the detention of government officials and journalists will be held accountable before international jurisdictions,” the experts said in a statement.

“The people of Myanmar have the right to protest peacefully and express their discontent with the military coup,” it said. 

“We call on the military to refrain from using force against peaceful protests, stop using live bullets against protesters immediately and respect their right to peaceful protest,” it added.

Myanmar has seen hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators take to the streets to oppose this month’s military takeover and the removal of the civilian government. At least five protesters have died while many human rights defenders have been threatened and gone into hiding.

The experts also expressed concern that at least 700 people had been detained since the coup, including high-profile leaders of the civilian government. Some are being kept under house arrest with no outside contact and in most cases, their whereabouts are unknown. 

The lack of official charges or acknowledgement of detention is also disturbing, they said.

The experts called on the international community to continue to push for the respect of the will of the people of Myanmar and for the peaceful return of the power to the civilian government. 

They further recalled that business enterprises, including state-owned enterprises, have a responsibility to respect all internationally recognized human rights wherever they operate.

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