Again sharp criticism of the military in Myanmar

After the largest protest in Myanmar since the coup three weeks ago, international criticism of the military junta is also growing louder. Both the seven leading industrialized countries (G7) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sharply condemned the violence against the democracy movement on Tuesday. The G7 threatened consequences in a joint statement.

“We condemn the intimidation and repression of those who oppose the coup,” said the statement published in London. Anyone who reacts to peaceful protests with violence should be held accountable. “The military and the police must exercise the utmost restraint and respect human rights and international law,” stressed the group’s foreign ministers. The use of live ammunition against unarmed people is “unacceptable”.

Guterres called on the military rulers to immediately end the crackdown on demonstrators. “Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights and the will of the people expressed in the recent parliamentary election,” tweeted the Portuguese. “Coups have no place in our modern world.”

The G7 once again condemned the coup and demanded the immediate and unconditional release of those arbitrarily detained, such as the ousted de facto prime minister Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. The foreign ministers emphasized that they stand by the side of the people in Myanmar “in their pursuit of democracy and freedom”. The systematic action against those who think differently, journalists and medical staff must be ended immediately and the state of emergency lifted.

In Myanmar itself, calls for concrete help from the international community and the United Nations have grown louder. Citizens also increasingly brought up the use of UN peacekeepers in social networks. “Sir, just yesterday the military arrested more than 100 peaceful demonstrators in Naypyidaw,” tweeted a woman to Guterres’ address. “Your warnings are clearly neglected and mocked by these killers.” It is time to send blue helmet soldiers to restore peace. “Please save us,” wrote the woman.

A doctor wrote on Twitter: “As far as I know, UN peacekeeping forces serve to stop the spread of violence and conflict around the world.” It is time for such a mission in Myanmar. The military has recently cracked down on the resistance movement with increasing severity. Live ammunition was also used; so far at least three people have died and more than 680 have been arrested.

The military in the Southeast Asian country couped on February 1st. On that day, the newly elected parliament in November should have met for its first session. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NDL) party won the election by a large margin, but the military does not recognize the result and speaks of fraud. There have been mass protests since the coup – the largest action so far took place yesterday, Monday. In many parts of the country there were again demonstrations against the generals on Tuesday.

In neighboring Malaysia, the judiciary has stopped the deportation of 1,200 refugees from Myanmar to their homeland for the time being. Human rights organizations had filed a lawsuit against the repatriation on the grounds that it would endanger the lives of people belonging to a Christian minority. A new hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday (10:00 a.m.).

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