Monday, October 25

Myanmar coup: ‘Stop killing protesters,’ says UN as death toll reaches 54

The United Nations Human Rights chief called on the Myanmar military to “stop killing and jailing protesters” on Thursday, saying that at least 54 people had died in the previous month.

Michelle Bachelet required in a statement that the Myanmar security forces “end their brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.”

“The Myanmar military must stop killing and jailing protesters. It is absolutely abhorrent that the security forces are firing live ammunition at peaceful protesters across the country,” he added.

Bachelet’s plea comes a day after 30 people lost their lives in protests in Myanmar on Wednesday, the bloodiest day since the February 1 coup.

In all, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) believes that at least 54 people have died since the military overthrew the government on February 1, including 18 on Sunday and five earlier.

According to the NGO Save the Children, at least four of the dead were children between the ages of 14 and 17.

Hundreds have also been injured, while more than 1,700 have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, OHCHR said. These include members of parliament and other elected officials, political activists, public officials, human rights defenders, teachers, journalists, monks, and celebrities.

“However, the actual number of detainees is likely to be much higher, given that demonstrations are reported to have taken place in 537 locations across the country where it has not always been possible to monitor developments,” OHCHR emphasized.

At least 700 people were detained on Wednesday alone with cases of law enforcement officers conducting door-to-door searches. Some families have reported that they have not received information about the place where they have taken their loved ones, which Bachelet warned that “may constitute enforced disappearances.”

He also expressed concern about attacks against journalists. At least 29 journalists have been arrested in recent days, eight of whom have already been charged with crimes, including inciting the opposition, hating the government or attending an illegal meeting.

Several Western countries have also reacted to the escalation of violence in Myanmar.

French President Emmanuel Macron called on wednesday “for the immediate end of the repression in Burma, for the release of the detainees and for the respect for the democratic choice of the Burmese people expressed in the last elections.”

A spokesman for the United States Department of State. said Thursday that the Biden administration is “shocked and disgusted to see the horrific violence perpetrated against the people of Burma for their peaceful calls to restore civil governance.”

“We call on all countries to speak with one voice to condemn the brutal violence of the Burmese army against its own people and promote accountability for the military actions that have led to the loss of the lives of so many people in Burma, “he added.

The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet on Friday.

The army seized power on February 1 and arrested hundreds of opposition lawmakers, including Aung San Suu Kyi, then the country’s de facto leader.

The army alleges widespread fraud in the November legislative elections that Suu Kyi’s party won overwhelmingly.

Since then, Suu Kyi has been charged with four crimes, including violating a telecommunications law, inciting public disorder, illegally importing walkie-talkies, and breaching coronavirus restrictions.

But despite the deaths, arrests and violence, people continue to take to the streets.

A formation of five fighter jets flew over Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, on Thursday morning in what appeared to be a show of force.

Protesters in the city displayed the three-finger salute as they rode their motorcycles to follow a funeral procession for Kyal Sin, also known by her Chinese name Deng Jia Xi, a university student who was shot and killed while attending a demonstration on the day. previous. Many thousands of people attended.

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