UN Human Rights Office says 18 killed in Myanmar crackdown

03 Mars, 2021, 08:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Myanmar protesters

She made the remarks when Myanmar security forces killed at least 18 protesters and injured over 30 others around the country on Sunday in the bloodiest day since the February 1 coup, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office. Demonstrators scattered and sought to rinse their faces with water in vain attempts to ease the irritating effects of the gas.

In the capital, Naypyitaw, the country's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a court appearance Monday via videoconference, the independent Myanmar Now online news agency reported. It said she received a charge under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code for allegedly inciting unrest.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

Ms Suu Kyi, 75, was already facing obscure criminal charges for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, as well as violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event during last year's election.

The military has justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November's elections, which her National League for Democracy had won in a landslide.

They have grown concerned that the 10-member ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member, may acquiesce with the junta's call for an election in a bid to scrap the Nov 8 election, which dealt a crushing defeat to a military-backed party.

Sunday marks the second day of the military's intensified crackdown on anti-coup protesters, in which hundreds of people have reportedly been detained, including journalists.

"The secretary-general urges the global community to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression", Dujarric said. Therefore, live rounds by the security apparatus resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people.

Fatal shootings were reported in several places across the country-from Dawei in the country's Deep South to Yangon to upcountry Mandalay and other areas.

The military takeover reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership on February 1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide. The army said a policeman has been killed.

The deaths were confirmed by media based in the town.

Myanmar protests
A wounded protester is carried away in Mandalay

Confirming reports of protesters' deaths has been hard amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources.

In a bid to block arms supply to the Myanmar military from major providers China and Russian Federation as violent crackdowns on anti-coup demonstrators continue, the expats are calling on Japan to lobby other United Nations members so the Security Council urgently imposes a global arms embargo on the junta led by Min Aung Hlaing, the army chief who ended Myanmar's decade-long democratic reform. Some media reported that as many as 26 died.

A protest organizer says they want representatives and the people in the United States to stand up for democracy in their motherland.

"What the world is watching in Myanmar is outrageous and unacceptable", Andrews said. "Words of condemnation are necessary and welcome but insufficient. We must act", Andrews said in a statement. Photos posted on social media showed that residents of at least two cities, Yangon and Monywa, resisted by erecting makeshift street barricades to try to hinder the advance of the police.

"We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters", its spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani was quoted saying.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would "impose further costs on those responsible", promising details "in the coming days".

Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive action to break up protests and make mass arrests.

At least one journalist documenting Sunday's assaults by security forces was beaten and detained further north in Myitkyina, a city at the headwaters of the Irrawaddy river, according to local outlet The 74 Media.

More than 850 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

Security forces also tried to thwart protests in Mandalay, where roadblocks were set up at several key intersections and the regular venues for rallies were flooded with police. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in custody.

Suu Kyi has now been detained alongside other government leaders including President Win Myint. "AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw", said Ian Phillips, the AP's vice-president for worldwide news.

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