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U.N. Security Council, States Should Consider Myanmar Sanctions - Rights Envoy

U.N. Security Council, States Should Consider Myanmar Sanctions - Rights Envoy

The United Nations Security Council should consider imposing punitive sanctions, arms embargoes and travel bans on Myanmar because of the military coup there, the U.N. human rights investigator for the Southeast Asian country said on Friday.

GENEVA: The United Nations Security Council should consider imposing punitive sanctions, arms embargoes and travel bans on Myanmar because of the military coup there, the U.N. human rights investigator for the Southeast Asian country said on Friday.

Thomas Andrews also said U.N. member states should impose bilateral sanctions and arms embargoes, and ensure that any assistance goes to aid groups and not to the junta.

“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. All of these options should be on the table,” Andrews told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

There were “growing reports and photographic evidence” that Myanmar security forces have used live ammunition against protesters, he said.

“This violence violates international law,” he said.

The 47-member Geneva forum is holding a special session 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 Andrews and other U.N. monitors to visit.

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.

“Myanmar’s democratically elected political leadership, including Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, have been detained on politically motivated charges,” said Nada al-Nashif, deputy U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

More than 350 political and state officials, activists and civil society members, including journalists, monks and students have been taken into custody, she said, adding: “Several face criminal charges on dubious grounds.”

Myint Thu, Myanmar’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said Myanmar would maintain cooperation with the U.N. and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and uphold international human rights treaties.

“We do not want to stall the nascent democratic transition in the country,” Myint said.

(Writing by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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first published:February 12, 2021, 16:54 IST