UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

More than 1,500 people killed since coup in Myanmar: UN

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 01 February 2022 4:16 PM

The United Nations says at least 1,500 people have been killed and thousands more detained in year-long protests against the military coup in Myanmar.

UN human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said at a UN briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday that at least 11,787 people were also unlawfully detained in Myanmar in that period.

"We have documented 1,500 people who have been killed, but this is in only in context of protests," Shamdasani said, adding that they included 200 "killed due to torture in military custody."

"This is for voicing their opposition to the military, whether in peaceful protests or through online activities even."

She also said that an unspecified number of people had been killed in the ongoing conflict between Myanmar's military and ethnic armed groups in various parts of the country over the past months. "This 1,500 does not include people who were killed due to the armed conflict... We do understand that they are in the thousands."

Separately, Tom Andrews, the UN rights expert on Myanmar, said on Tuesday that the ruling junta had killed civilians and waged a campaign of terror since last year's coup. Andrews accused the military of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The special UN rapporteur further said he had received many reports of mass killings, attacks on hospitals, and the bombing and burning of villages in recent months.

According to Andrews, the military is functioning as a criminal enterprise and committing murder, torture, abductions, and forced displacement.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Andrews called for the tightening of sanctions against Myanmar's junta. "The international community must take strong, meaningful steps to cut the junta's access to weapons, funds and legitimacy."

February 1 marks a year since the military seized control of Myanmar. Streets in some of the main cities were nearly deserted on Tuesday as anti-coup protesters called for a silent strike.

On the eve of the coup anniversary, the military authorities in Myanmar extended the state of emergency, which had been imposed for six months at the time of the coup.

Myanmar coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, in remarks published in state media, said the military would hold new elections in August 2023.

The military takeover has triggered widespread international condemnation since last year. Myanmar was ruled by the military from 1962 until 2011.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list