U.N. rights envoy and U.S. urge sanctions for Myanmar

U.N. rights envoy and U.S. urge sanctions for Myanmar
  • Clock-gray 19:25
  • calendar-gray 12 February 2021

The United Nations human rights investigator for Myanmar on Friday urged the U.N. Security Council to consider imposing sanctions and arms embargoes, as 300 elected Myanmar lawmakers urged investigations into the military’s seizure of power, APA reports citing Reuters.

The United States, which imposed its own sanctions on Thursday, took the floor at the Human Rights Council to urge other U.N. member states to follow suit.

Special Rapporteur Thomas Andrews said there were “growing reports and photographic evidence” that security forces had used live ammunition against protesters since seizing power almost two weeks ago.

“Security Council resolutions dealing with similar situations have mandated sanctions, arms embargoes, and travel bans, and calling for judicial action at the International Criminal Court or ad hoc tribunals,” he told the Council. “All of these options should be on the table.”

The 47-member forum met at the request of Britain and the European Union to consider a resolution calling for the release of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and for U.N. monitors to be allowed to visit.

The United States, which imposed its own sanctions on Thursday, took the floor at the Human Rights Council to urge other U.N. member states to follow suit.

Special Rapporteur Thomas Andrews said there were “growing reports and photographic evidence” that security forces had used live ammunition against protesters since seizing power almost two weeks ago.

“Security Council resolutions dealing with similar situations have mandated sanctions, arms embargoes, and travel bans, and calling for judicial action at the International Criminal Court or ad hoc tribunals,” he told the Council. “All of these options should be on the table.”

The 47-member forum met at the request of Britain and the European Union to consider a resolution calling for the release of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and for U.N. monitors to be allowed to visit.

In a letter read out by Britain’s ambassador Julian Braithwaite, they said: “The military also shot people protesting, invaded the ruling party’s offices, confiscated documents, records, and property.”

They said a telecommunications bill being prepared by the junta was intended to restrict access to the Internet and mobile services.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Mark Cassayre said: “We ask all Council members to join the United States and others to ... join us in promoting accountability for those responsible for the coup, including through targeted sanctions.”

But China and Russia - which have close ties to Myanmar’s military - said they opposed holding the session at all.

“What happened in Myanmar is essentially Myanmar’s internal affairs,” said Chen Xu, China’s ambassador.

Russian ambassador Gennady Gatilov said: “Attempts to whip up hype around the situation in Myanmar need to cease.”

Supporters of Suu Kyi clashed with police on Friday as hundreds of thousands joined nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations in defiance of the junta’s call to halt mass gatherings.

More than 350 officials, activists, journalists, monks and students have been detained, said Nada al-Nashif, deputy U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Myanmar ambassador Myint Thu said Myanmar would continue to cooperate with the United Nations and uphold international human rights treaties, adding: “We do not want to stall the nascent democratic transition in the country.”

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