Mar 01, 2021 09:14 UTC
  • UN rights office denounces military crackdown on peaceful protesters in Myanmar, says 18 killed

The United Nations has lambasted the crackdown on peaceful protesters in coup-hit Myanmar, saying nearly 20 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in the latest round of military violence.

“Police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that – according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office – has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded,” said Ravina Shamdasani, Spokeswoman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on Sunday.

“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,” the UN official added.

On February 1, a junta, led by Myanmar’s Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, took control of the country after detaining de facto Leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as other senior figures from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) Party through a coup, which has drawn worldwide condemnation.

The junta, which has declared a one-year emergency across the country, claimed that it seized power after it found widespread fraud in elections held three months earlier that the NLD won in a landslide.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people in the Southeast Asian country have held numerous protest rallies almost on a daily basis against the coup leaders, demanding the release of Suu Kyi and other detainees.

Suu Kyi, who spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during military rule, now faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios and violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols.