Myanmar: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed concern over the violence shaking Cali.(AFP)
Myanmar: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed concern over the violence shaking Cali.(AFP)

Myanmar has plunged into a ‘human rights catastrophe’, violence escalating: UN rights chief

  • Myanmar’s armed forces carried out a coup d’etat in February by detaining de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians after weeks of heightened tensions owing to a disputed election.
Written by Kunal Gaurav | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 11, 2021 04:12 PM IST

A day after Myanmar’s military junta formally charged civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials with corruption, the UN rights chief said that the violence was further escalating in the Southeast Asian nation. Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, warned on Friday that Myanmar has plunged into a “human rights catastrophe” since the military coup in February.

“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe...The military leadership is singularly responsible for this crisis, and must be held to account,” Bachelet said in a statement.

Myanmar’s armed forces carried out a coup d’état by detaining de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians after weeks of heightened tensions owing to a disputed election. The military, which ruled Myanmar for nearly five decades, again took control under a state of emergency for one year, triggering protests across the country and condemnation from world leaders.

Also Read | UN says estimated 100,000 people internally displaced in Myanmar’s Kayah State due to violence

Scores of pro-democracy protesters and children have been killed by Myanmar's military, the Tatmadaw, since the coup. Several media reports indicate a military build-up, especially in Kayah state in the east and Chin state in the west of the country.

Citing reports of the military using civilians as human shields, Bachelet said that state security forces have continued to use heavy weaponry, including airstrikes, against armed groups and against civilians and civilian objects, including Christian churches. Bachelet said she was deeply troubled by the reports of detainees being tortured, and of collective punishment of family members of activists.

“There appear to be no efforts towards de-escalation but rather a build-up of troops in key areas, contrary to the commitments the military made to ASEAN to cease the violence,” she added.

Also Read | 'Undeniable that violence is spiraling': US govt's top Asia official on situation in Myanmar

The UN rights commissioner appealed to intensify regional diplomacy by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other influential States. Bachelet urged them to insist on the immediate cessation of violence and ongoing human rights violations. She will update the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Myanmar on July 7.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s ministry of information, now controlled by the military, has said that the anti-corruption commission has inspected corruption cases against the ex-state counsellor. “She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank,” the ministry said on Thursday.

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Cases Aung San Suu Kyi already faced ranged from violating coronavirus protocols while campaigning and illegally possessing walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act.(Reuters File Photo)
Cases Aung San Suu Kyi already faced ranged from violating coronavirus protocols while campaigning and illegally possessing walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act.(Reuters File Photo)

Myanmar authorities open new corruption cases against Aung San Suu Kyi

Reuters |
PUBLISHED ON JUN 11, 2021 12:24 AM IST
The cases are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, 75, whose overthrow in a Feb. 1 coup has plunged Myanmar into chaos, with daily protests and strikes and unrest in far-flung regions that anti-junta militias said had claimed the lives of 37 soldiers on Thursday.
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