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Myanmar: UN Office Expresses ‘strong Concern’ At Use Of Force Against Demonstrators


The United Nations in Myanmar has voiced strong
concerns over Tuesday’s reported use of force by security
forces against demonstrators protesting the military
takeover and arrests of elected leaders and
politicians.

“I call on the security forces
to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including
the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression”,
Ola Almgren, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian
Coordinator in Myanmar, said in a news
release
.

“The use of disproportionate force
against demonstrators is unacceptable”, he
added.

The UN office in the country cited reports from
capital Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and other cities, of numerous
demonstrators having been injured, some of them seriously,
by security forces in connection with the ongoing
protests.

Mr. Almgren reiterated UN Secretary-General António
Guterres
’ call on the military leadership to respect
the will of the people
of Myanmar and adhere to
democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved
through peaceful dialogue

Over the weekend, the UN
human rights office (OHCHR)
also called
on the security forces
in Myanmar to ensure people’s
right to peaceful assembly is fully respected and that
demonstrations are not subjected to reprisals.

The military
takeover
, last Monday, followed escalating
tensions
between the military and the government after
the November
2020 elections
, which was won by Aung San Suu Kyi-led
National League for Democracy (NLD).

The polls were
only the second democratic elections in Myanmar since the
end of nearly five decades of military rule.

Uphold
children’s rights: UNICEF

The UN Children’s Fund UNICEF released a statement
on Tuesday through it’s office in Yangon, expressing deep
concern regarding the impact of the crisis in Myanmar on
children’s wellbeing, and reminded all parties of their
obligations to uphold all children’s rights as enshrined
in the Convention
on the Rights of the Child
(CRC), to which Myanmar is a
State Party, and under its own Child Rights Law enacted in
July 2019.

“These rights include the rights to
protection, participation, peaceful assembly and freedom of
expression”, said the statement.

“In the context of
ongoing demonstrations and current events, and reports of
injuries, some potentially fatal, UNICEF calls on all
actors, including security forces, to exercise the utmost
restraint, to resolve differences through constructive and
peaceful means, and to prioritize the protection and safety
of children and young people as they express their
opinions.”

Human Rights Council to meet on
Myanmar

Meanwhile, the Human
Rights Council
– the highest UN intergovernmental
forum on matters related to human rights – will meet for a
special session on Friday, to discuss the rights
implications of the crisis in Myanmar.

The special
session is being convened following an official request by
the United Kingdom and the European Union, according to the
Human Rights Council (HRC).

“The request said the
special session was needed because of ‘the importance and
urgency of the situation’,” the HRC said
on Monday.

Due to the coronavirus
pandemic, the special session will take place in a mainly
virtual format. It is expected to start at 10 am (CEST;
GMT+1; EST+6).

In order for a special session to be
convened, the support of one-third of HRC’s 47 members –
16 or more – is required. As of Tuesday, the request has
been supported
by 19 States members of the Council; 28 observer States also
backed the
call.

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