03/12/2021, 14.51
MYANMAR
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UN expert: Junta committing crimes against humanity

by Francis Khoo Thwe

At the UN Commission for Human Rights, Thomas Andrew demands international sanctions against the junta and the state owned oil company in the hands of the military. So far the security forces have murdered "at least 70 people" and jailed over 2,000 in an arbitrary manner. One third of those killed are young people under the age of 18. Testimonies about the death in prison of U Zaw Myat Lin, tortured and killed. New charges against the "Lady": she allegedly pocketed $ 600,000 illegally. "A joke".

Yangon (AsiaNews) - UN human rights expert Thomas Andrew says the military in Myanmar, perpetrators of the February 1 coup, may have committed crimes against humanity.

Yesterday, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he asked for international sanctions against the junta and the oil company owned by the state, but in reality still in the hands of the military.

Andrew, described what is happening in the country after the coup: "the security forces of the junta are carrying out killings, imprisonment, persecution and other crimes as part of a coordinated campaign directed against the civilian population in a systematic and widespread way". Citing reliable sources, he says that "Myanmar security forces have so far murdered at least 70 people", and arbitrarily put more than 2,000 in prison. One third of those killed are young people under the age of 18.

Among the victims of the junta is U Zaw Myat Lin, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (Ndl). He was arrested on the night between 8 and 9 March, and died the next day in prison. The police refused to hand over the body to the family, to prepare for the funeral. According to witnesses, U Zaw Myat Lin was tortured and then killed. From the burns on his face it would appear that acid had been poured on his face and in his mouth. The corpse had no teeth and his tongue was loose and shrunken.

The junta keeps repeating that he died trying to escape, falling from the top of the building in which he was imprisoned.

Despite the increase in military violence, demonstrations are scheduled in several cities today.

In order not to be trapped, activists suggest demonstrating in the evening or at night. Many demonstrations, by candle light, are held in defiance of the curfew imposed by the junta. In the demonstrations, the crowds show large photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi and call for her release.

Since the night of the coup, the "Lady" has been under house arrest, accused of illegally purchasing some walkie-talkies and violating anti-Covid rules. Yesterday the junta also accused her of corruption: she allegedly accepted a payment of 600 thousand dollars. The spokesman who released the accusation did not, however, cite any evidence. Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, commented: " This accusation is the most hilarious joke".

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