The United Nations Tuesday urged the international community to take “concerted, immediate measures” to stop human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar.
The report, released for the forty-ninth regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, details human rights violations by the Tatmadaw, the military of Myanmar. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the acts of the military regime “may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Myanmar has been under military rule since February 1, 2021. The military regime has been widely condemned for its role in human rights violations.
Numerous counts of human rights abuses were detailed in the report. “Over 1,500 persons died at the hands of security forces and their affiliates” which the report states is “above and beyond the number of civilian deaths resulting from pre-existing armed conflicts.” In addition to using “air strikes, helicopter gunships, artillery and mortars” against opposition groups, the military has “persistently used landmines,” “forced individuals to perform labor and act as human shields” and performed summary executions against political opponents, medical workers and civilians alike.
The document describes legislation by the Tatmadaw, which conferred “unchecked power of arrest and detention” against those who challenged military rule. It also noted a complete lack of judicial independence. “Upon sentencing, one interviewee reported being told by the court: ‘You are innocent, but I have to listen to someone else. Please forgive me.'”
The Human Rights Council report recommends that countries prevent the supply of arms to Myanmar, protect individuals crossing borders to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.
For more information on the situation in Myanmar, visit the JURIST Myanmar dispatch.