UN condemns detention of Myanmar leaders

The UN has expressed grave concern about the military takeover in Myanmar

Myanmar military - Photograph: Wikipedia

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general:

The UN secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar’s new parliament. 

He expresses his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military. These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.

The 8 November 2020 general elections provide a strong mandate to the National League for Democracy (NLD), reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform. 

The secretary-general urges the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar and adhere to democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved through peaceful dialogue.

All leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar’s democratic reform, engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The secretary-general reaffirms the unwavering support of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law. – UN

Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Myanmar:

I am gravely concerned about the situation in Myanmar following the removal of the civilian government and the arbitrary detention of dozens of political leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, activists and others by the military [yesterday].

I echo the UN secretary-general’s call for the military leadership to respect the outcome of the elections.

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I am alarmed by reports suggesting that at least 45 people have been detained – including elected parliamentarians under confinement – and I call for their immediate release.

There are also disturbing reports of journalists being harassed or attacked, and restrictions on the internet and social media – which will restrict access to information and freedom of expression at this critical and frightening time for the people of Myanmar.

Given the security presence on the streets in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, as well as in other cities, there are deep fears of a violent crackdown on dissenting voices.

I remind the military leadership that Myanmar is bound by international human rights law, including to respect the right to peaceful assembly and to refrain from using unnecessary or excessive force.

I urge the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar at this time, and for all states with influence to take steps to prevent the crumbling of the fragile democratic and human rights gains made by Myanmar during its transition from military rule. – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

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