NewsMyanmar junta committing 'crimes against humanity: UN expert

Myanmar junta committing ‘crimes against humanity: UN expert


Geneva, Switzerland: Myanmar’s military has carried out crimes against humanity since seizing power in February, a top UN rights expert said on Wednesday, slamming the international community for failing to “end this nightmare”.

Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, Thomas Andrews, the special rapporteur on the rights situation in Myanmar, decried the “widespread, systematic attacks against the people” since the coup five months ago.

Myanmar has experienced mass protests and a brutal military response since the February 1 coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi.

UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet told the council on Tuesday that the situation in the country had “evolved from a political crisis to a multi-dimensional human rights catastrophe”.

“Suffering and violence throughout the country are devastating prospects for sustainable development, and raise the possibility of state failure or a broader civil war,” she warned.

Since the coup, nearly 900 people have been killed, while about 200,000 have been forced to flee their homes, according to UN numbers.

At the same time, at least 5,200 people had been arbitrarily arrested, including more than 90 journalists.

Andrews accused the military authorities of torture, “including torturing people in custody to death.”

Some of the acts, he said, “amount to crimes against humanity”, lamenting the fact that more had not been done to rein in the violations.

“The international community is failing the people of Myanmar.”

‘Rein of terror’

Andrews said the military had cut off food, water, and medicine to those displaced by its attacks on villages.

It had “taken family members hostage when its forces are unable to find those with outstanding arrest warrants,” recently arresting a four-year-old child, he said.

But the international community so far had failed to take the actions needed to bring the violations to a halt, he said.

The people of Myanmar “desperately need the support of the international community before it is too late”.

“Some in Myanmar have lost hope that help from the international community will be forthcoming and have instead sought to defend themselves through the formation of defense forces and acts of sabotage,” he added.

“This trend could escalate quickly and the junta’s pattern of the use of grossly disproportionate force in response will likely lead to an even greater loss of life.”

Andrews hailed the countries that have slapped sanctions on Myanmar’s military but insisted broader international coordination was needed to have a real impact.

He repeated a call for the creation of an international emergency coalition for the People of Myanmar to coordinate sanctions and rein in the revenues the junta needs “to continue its reign of terror.”

‘Cut off their income’

“Cut off their income, and you cut off their capacity to continue their relentless attack on the people of Myanmar,” he said.

The international community should also ban arms sales to the Myanmar military, launch investigations into alleged violations and work to prosecute perpetrators using universal jurisdiction laws.

There also needed to be a dramatic hike in humanitarian aid to the people through “non-junta channels”, he said.

Andrews also urged countries to jointly deny the junta any claims to legitimacy it might try to make, including “the false claim that they are recognized by the United Nations”.

“There is no guarantee that this approach will succeed,” he acknowledged.

But “there is overwhelming evidence that the current path leads to even greater impunity, a humanitarian disaster, and a failed state.”

AFP is a leading global news agency for comprehensive, verified coverage of events shaping the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Climate change could trigger internal migration of 216 mln people – World Bank

WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Without immediate action to combat climate change, rising sea levels, water scarcity and declining...

Australia eyes Christmas reopening of international borders

SYDNEY — After more than 18 months of COVID-19 isolation, Australia is preparing to reopen its international borders by Christmas...

Vaccinated pregnant people can pass on Covid antibodies to fetus: Study

Pregnant women who are vaccinated against COVID-19 also pass on the coronavirus antibodies to their unborn children, according to...

End unilateral sanctions on Taliban, China urges G-20

ISLAMABAD — China’s top diplomat Thursday urged a virtual conference of G-20 foreign ministers to end economic sanctions against Taliban-ruled...

Supermodel Linda Evangelista says cosmetic treatment left her ‘deformed’

Kolkata, India: Linda Evangelista, one of the original 1990s supermodels who dominated the catwalk and fashion covers in the...

McD pledges to phase out plastic toys with Happy Meals by 2025

Fast-food giant McDonald's said Tuesday it would phase out plastic toys from its signature Happy Meals by 2025. "Starting now,...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you