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Monday, March 1, 2021

U.N. Secretary-General Demands Myanmar Free Prisoners, Stop Repression and End Violence Against Citizens

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the violence in Myanmar, demanding the county’s military stop the repression of citizens and release political prisoners, on Monday.

Guterres called out the southeast Asian country in his speech, among other rights violations across the globe, at the annual 46th UN Human Rights Council session.

“Today, I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately,” the UN head said. 

Guterres said, “Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections,”  maintaining “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. Attacks on civil society. Serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population. The list goes on.”

Guterres also criticized nations taking advantage of the pandemic situation to suppress dissent. 

“Using the pandemic as a pretext, authorities in some countries have deployed heavy-handed security responses and emergency measures to crush dissent, criminalise basic freedoms, silence independent reporting and curtail the activities of non governmental organisations.”

Mass demonstrations have continued in Myanmar as three have been reportedly killed when police opened fire, including 19-year old Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing who died on Friday. 

On Saturday, two were killed including a teenager at a protest in Mandalay when security forces fired live rounds.

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