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UN rights chief urges accountability for escalating ‘catastrophe’ in Myanmar

Ms. Bachelet’s enchantment follows studies of a seamless army build-up in numerous components of the nation together with Kayah State in the east – the place greater than 108,000 folks have fled their houses in the final three weeks – and in Chin State in the west.

This runs opposite to commitments made in April by Myanmar’s army leaders to regional powers ASEAN, to stop brutal violence in opposition to civilians which has adopted the 1 February coup.

Rising toll

“As I had feared, armed conflict and other violence are intensifying in many parts of Myanmar, including Kayah State, Chin State and Kachin State, with the violence particularly intense in areas with significant ethnic and religious minority groups”, Ms. Bachelet mentioned in an announcement.

“State security forces have continued to use heavy weaponry, including airstrikes, against armed groups and against civilians and civilian objects, including Christian churches.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights cited credible studies that safety forces had used civilians as human shields, shelled civilian houses and church buildings in Loikaw, Phekon and Demoso, in Kayah State.

She additionally appealed for hospitals, colleges and locations of worship to be protected all through the nation, after a number of reported incidents in which hospitals, colleges and spiritual establishments have been entered and occupied by State safety forces, “fired upon and damaged in military actions”.

Aid staff blocked

Soldiers had additionally blocked humanitarian entry, together with by attacking humanitarian actors, Ms. Bachelet insisted, noting with concern that greater than 108,000 folks had fled their houses in Kayah State during the last three weeks alone, many into forest areas the place they’re in pressing want of humanitarian help.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights additionally warned that “sweeping arrests” have continued of activists, journalists and opponents of the regime.

At least 4,804 folks stay in arbitrary detention, Ms. Bachelet’s workplace famous, earlier than citing studies of torture and collective punishment of members of the family of activists – together with one mom of an activist who was sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment in place of her son on 28 May.

A group of people on the streets of Yangon show their support for Myanmar.

Unsplash/Saw Wunna

A bunch of individuals on the streets of Yangon present their help for Myanmar.

‘Human rights catastrophe’

“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe. In addition to the loss of life, people are suffering from severe impacts on the social and economic rights. The military leadership is singularly responsible for this crisis, and must be held to account,” the High Commissioner mentioned.

Since the army takeover, a minimal of 860 folks have been killed by safety forces, principally in the context of protests, the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) famous.

More than 100 self-styled “people’s defence forces” and opposition armed teams additionally function throughout the nation, mentioned OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani, though there was “little centralised command”.

ASEAN enchantment

Appealing for an “intensification” of regional diplomacy, together with by regional energy bloc ASEAN and different influential States, Ms. Bachelet urged them to insist on the quick cessation of violence and ongoing violations.

“Dialogue is urgently needed with the National Unity Government and civil society stakeholders”, she mentioned.

The High Commissioner famous that she intends to replace the UN Human Rights Council on the state of affairs in Myanmar on 7 July.

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Updated on June 19, 2021 5:51 pm

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