At least 138 people have been killed protesting against a military coup in Myanmar since Feb 1, the United Nations said, condemning the violent crackdown against “peaceful” demonstrators including women and children.
“This includes 38 people who were killed Sunday, the majority in the Hlaing Thayer area of Yangon, while 18 people were killed on Saturday,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The coup has undone years of efforts toward democratizing the once-dictatorship. Protesters are demanding the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be returned to power after the military ousted the democratically-elected administration that was set to begin its new term on February 1.
In a Monday statement, Dujarric said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “appalled by the escalating violence … at the hands of the country’s military.”
He said Myanmar’s killing of demonstrators, arbitrary arrests, and the reported torture of prisoners all violate fundamental human rights.
Guterres urged the international community to work together to help end the oppression and also urged Myanmar’s military to allow the secretary-general’s special envoy to visit and “calm down” the situation while setting the stage for “a return to democracy.”
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener released a statement Sunday condemning the bloodshed and detailing “heartbreaking accounts” of the violence from her contacts on the ground.
“The ongoing brutality, including against medical personnel and destruction of public infrastructure, severely undermines any prospects for peace and stability,” she said.
According to the UN Children’s Fund, an estimated 700 children are among those arbitrarily detained and at least nine children are among those killed. The agency said in a Facebook statement March 11 that many of the arrested are being held without access to legal counsel, a violation of their human rights
Source: NAM News Network