Myanmar coup: UN expert calls for strong int’l response, sanctions, arms embargo
February 02, 2021, 12:57 AM
by UNB NEWS
Publish- February 02, 2021, 12:57 AM
Update- February 07, 2021, 06:25 PM
A cyclist bikes past a signboard with an image of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Myanmar's election commission rejected allegations by the military that fraud played a significant role in determining the outcome of November's elections, which delivered a landslide victory to Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling party. AP photo
A UN human rights expert on Monday condemned the military coup in Myanmar, urging a strong and unequivocal condemnation and action by the international community.
“I call for the immediate, unconditional release of everyone who has been detained, the restoration of communications, and an end to this outrageous and unlawful action,” said Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.
The expert said the ‘state of emergency’ in Myanmar is the military itself and they are guilty of an assault on an emerging democracy and the people of Myanmar. Human rights and democracy champions are in detention and under siege.
“They need and they deserve the world to be standing with them, which makes a strong international response imperative.”
“The seizure of military power over a democratically elected government casts a dark shadow once again over the country,” said Andrews. “The generals have created a climate of fear and anxiety.
“The Tatmadaw must immediately restore democratic order, and return elected authorities to power. The military leadership must also fully respect and protect people’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
“All detainees must be released immediately. We also call on the Tatmadaw to avoid any use of force against protesters or civilians, and to respect the rights of the people of Myanmar to peacefully protest and express their opposition,” Andrews said.
On 31 January, Myanmar’s military seized all levers of power in the country, consolidating control over the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government and detaining the leadership of the civilian governmental authorities, including the State Counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, and President U Win Myint.
In a video address on the military-run TV channel Myawaddy, the military declared a State of Emergency and the taking of power for one year. It justified their decision indicating reports of electoral fraud by the Tatmadaw’s political ally, USDP. On 8 November 2020, Myanmar held a general election which granted an overwhelming majority to the National League for Democracy (NLD), paving the way for greater reforms and democratic transition.
Several members of the new parliament are reportedly being held under house arrest, while the whereabouts of the leader of NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other senior leaders, are unknown.
A heavy police presence is reported around Myanmar’s capital Yangon, and communication networks and internet connectivity, including mobile and Wifi, in Yangon and Naypyitaw have been largely shut down.