UN chief Antonio Guterres tells Myanmar military to stop the repression

WION Web Team
Geneva Published: Feb 22, 2021, 06.20 PM(IST)

A file photo of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photograph:( AFP )

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Guterres, speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, "We see the undermining of democracy, the use of brutal force, arbitrary arrests, repression in all its manifestations. Restrictions of civic space. Attacks on civil society. Serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population. The list goes on."

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged Myanmar's military, which seized power three weeks ago, to halt repression and release hundreds detained since the coup. 

Guterres, speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, "We see the undermining of democracy, the use of brutal force, arbitrary arrests, repression in all its manifestations. Restrictions of civic space. Attacks on civil society. Serious violations against minorities with no accountability, including what has rightly been called ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population. The list goes on." 

"Today, I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately. Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections." 

 

Meanwhile, Myanmar police began to disperse pro-democracy protesters on Monday as businesses around the country shut in a general strike called to oppose the military coup despite a threat from authorities that confrontation could cost lives. 

Three weeks after seizing power, the junta has failed to stop daily protests and a civil disobedience movement calling for the reversal of the February 1 coup and release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Also Read | Myanmar: Protesters defy military's lethal warning to take to streets again

There were protests in cities and towns across the country on Monday, from the northern hills on the border with China to the central plains, the Irrawaddy river delta and the southern tip of the panhandle, images on social media showed. 

In the capital, Naypyitaw, where the military is headquartered, a police water cannon truck and numerous other vehicles closed in to break up a procession of chanting protesters who scattered when police on foot chased them, wrestling several to the ground. 

"They're chasing and arresting us. We’re just protesting peacefully," one woman said in video clip posted on Facebook. 

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