Fri, 22 Sep 2023

YANGON, Myanmar - According to Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, conditions for Myanmar's 54 million people have deteriorated from "bad to worse to horrific" since the military seized power last year.

Andrews told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that the international response to the crisis caused by the February 2021 coup had "failed" and that the Myanmar military was also committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as sexual violence, torture, a deliberate campaign against civilians, and murder.

Andrews spoke to the council after it was revealed that at least 12 children were killed in a helicopter attack on a school in north central Sagaing, where the military claimed anti-coup fighters were hiding.

Myanmar was thrown into chaos when Senior General Min Aung Hlaing arrested re-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and took power on the first day of the new parliament's session.

People took to the streets in mass protests, launching a nationwide civil disobedience movement, to which the military responded with force, prompting some civilians to take up arms. According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a civil society group monitoring the situation, over 2,300 people have been killed, and thousands have been arrested since the coup.

Andrews told the Human Rights Council that there were 295 children among those detained and that at least 84 political prisoners were on death row.

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