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Protect Burmese protesters: Civil societies urge UNHCR

WebdeskMar 04, 2021, 11:28 AM IST

Protect Burmese protesters: Civil societies urge UNHCR

Guwahati: Hundreds of civil society organizations call on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) member and observer States to pass a resolution calling the UN security council to immediately send an intervention mission to Myanmar to end violence and use of lethal force against peaceful protesters by the military junta, prevent further bloodshed and release all of those arbitrarily detained. “Since 1 February, at least 30 Burmese people have been killed and many others have been seriously injured at the hands of security forces ordered to inflict harm on peaceful protesters exercising their fundamental freedoms of assembly, expression and association,” said a statement issued on 3 March 2021, which was endorsed by over 450 civil society groups. Mentionable is that the Myanmar military on 1 February seized power in an illegitimate and unlawful power grab, police with the support of soldiers have used excessive force and lethal weapons against peaceful protesters and bystanders, including beatings, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun grenades, tear gas and live ammunition. At least 18 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in coordinated crackdowns throughout Myanmar on 28 February. Later on 20 February, two people were killed, and dozens were injured when police, with support from soldiers, fired live ammunition into the dockworkers protesting at the Yadanarbon shipyard in Mandalay. Ma Mya Thwaet Thwaet Khaing, a 19-year old female student was shot in her head by the police personnel in Naypyidaw on 9 February, who later died in the hospital on 19 February. Journalists and media reporting on the peaceful protests are also facing intimidation and threats as well as arbitrary arrests, assault and physical surveillance. The groups also urged the UNHCR to impose targeted sanctions on Myanmar military generals, military-linked businesses and its partners and impose a coordinated, global arms embargo on Myanmar, immediately end the use of violence and excessive force, unlawful use of water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and use of live ammunition against protesters. “We further call on the UNHCR, all other UN agencies and the international community to support Myanmar to achieve a roadmap that establishes a federal democratic union, ensuring a long-term sustainable peace, ethnic equality, and protection of human rights of all peoples, and implement constitutional change that is in line with the will of the people,” added the statement.

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