UN chief condemns deadly violence against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the use of deadly violence in Myanmar days after at least two were killed in anti-coup protests. Guterres urged Myanmar's military to immediately halt the repression and release all prisoners. Earlier this month, the military had staged a coup, detaining leader Aung San Suu Kyi along with senior members of the ruling National League for Democracy.
Stop the repression immediately: Guterres urged Myanmar's military
Speaking in his annual address to the UN Human Rights Council, Guterres said, "I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately." The statement was presented as a pre-recorded video message at the opening of the Geneva-based council's 46th session. "Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights and the will of the people expressed in recent elections," he added.
Guterres also condemned Rohingya crisis in Myanmar
Guterres said that "coups have no place in our modern world." He also condemned the attacks on civil society and "serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population." The UN chief welcomed a resolution passed by the rights council earlier this month, demanding the immediate release of Suu Kyi.
Flagrant interference in internal affairs: Myanmar
However, Myanmar's Foreign Ministry accused the UN along with other nations of "flagrant interference" in its internal affairs. The United States, Britain, and Canada have introduced sanctions targeting Myanmar's top generals. European Union Foreign Ministers will meet on Monday to discuss their own measures.
'Use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators unacceptable'
In a post on his official Twitter account earlier that day, the UN chief wrote, "I condemn the use of deadly violence in Myanmar." "The use of lethal force, intimidation, and harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable. Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly. I call on all parties to respect election results and return to civilian rule," he added.
You can view the tweet here
I condemn the use of deadly violence in Myanmar.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) February 21, 2021
The use of lethal force, intimidation harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable.
Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly. I call on all parties to respect election results and return to civilian rule.
Military staged coup after alleging election fraud
The NLD won elections with a massive majority in November but the country's powerful military leveled allegations of fraud, claiming that it unearthed over 10 million cases of cheating. On February 1, the military staged a coup and 640 people have reportedly been detained since. Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing now holds legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
Two protesters killed after security forces fired at Mandalay rally
A massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding Suu Kyi's release has faced a brutal crackdown by authorities. On Saturday, two people were killed after security forces fired on a rally in Mandalay. A third man was shot dead in Yangon. Undeterred by a warning by authorities threatening "loss of life" to protesters, a massive rally was staged in Yangon on Monday.