Feb 22, 2021 17:51 UTC
  • UN chief calls for immediate halt to ‘repression’ in Myanmar

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has denounced ‘brutal force’ used by military rulers to curb anti-coup protests in Myanmar.

In his annual address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Guterres urged the military to immediately depart from the repressive approach and release prisoners.

“Today, I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately,” he said in a pre-recorded video message at the opening of the 46th session of the Geneva-based council.

“Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections,” he said, insisting that “coups have no place in our modern world.” 

“We see the undermining of democracy, the use of brutal force, arbitrary arrests, repression in all its manifestations. Restrictions of civic space.”

According to Press TV, the UN chief voiced his “full support to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.” 

He condemned attacks on civil society and “serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population.”

“The list goes on,” he said. “It is all coming together in a perfect storm of upheaval.” 

Myanmar’s ruling military generals have gradually ratcheted up tactics against an ongoing massive civil disobedience campaign demanding the return of ousted de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

On Monday, thousands demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city and commercial hub. 

Suu Kyi was arrested on February 1.

Three protesters have been killed since February 1, according to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The junta has come under pressure by the international community to hand over power to civilians and release the officials. The military has defied the calls.

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