Ms. Bachelet’s appeal follows reports of continued military buildup in various parts of the country, including Kayah State in the east – where more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in the past three weeks – and in Chin State a west.
This runs counter to the commitments made in April by Myanmar’s military leaders to ASEAN regional powers to end the brutal violence against civilians that followed the February 1 coup.
Increasing balance sheet Ri
“As I feared, armed conflict and other violence are escalating in many parts of Myanmar, including Kayah State, Chin State and Kachin State, with particularly intense violence in areas with significant ethnic and religious minorities,” Ms Bachelet said in a statement.
“State security forces continued to use heavy weapons, including air strikes, against armed groups and against civilians and civilian objects, including Christian churches.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights cited credible reports that security forces used civilians as human shields, bombed civilian homes and churches in Loikaw, Phekon and Demoso, Kayah state.
It also appealed for hospitals, schools and places of worship to be protected across the country, after several reported incidents in which hospitals, schools and religious institutions were introduced and occupied by state security forces, “attacked and damaged in actions military “.
Humanitarian workers blocked
Soldiers had also blocked humanitarian access, including attacking humanitarian actors, Ms. Bachelet insisted, noting with concern that more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in Kayah state alone in the past three weeks alone, many in forest areas where are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also warned that the “radical arrests” of activists, journalists and opponents of the regime continued.
At least 4,804 people remain in arbitrary detention, Ms. Bachelet’s office noted, before citing allegations of torture and collective punishment of family members of activists, including a mother of an activist who was sentenced to three years in prison at the place of his son on May 28th.
Unsplash / I saw Wunna
“Human rights disaster”
“In just over four months, Myanmar has gone from being a fragile democracy to a human rights catastrophe. In addition to the loss of human life, people suffer serious repercussions on social and economic rights. The military leadership is solely responsible for this crisis and must be held accountable, “said the High Commissioner.
Since the military takeover, at least 860 people have been killed by security forces, mostly in the context of the protests, the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noticed.
More than 100 self-styled “popular defense forces” and armed opposition groups also operate across the country, OHCHR spokesman Ravina Shamdasani said, although there was “little centralized command”.
Calling for an “intensification” of regional diplomacy, including by the ASEAN regional power bloc and other influential states, Ms Bachelet urged them to insist on an immediate end to ongoing violence and violations.
“Dialogue with the national unity government and civil society stakeholders is urgently needed,” he said.
The High Commissioner noted that he intends to update the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Myanmar on 7 July.