Slap sanctions on Myanmar, say UN rights envoy and U.S.

Taking a stand: Protesters participating in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Wednesday. AFP STR  

The United Nations human rights investigator for Myanmar on Friday urged the U.N. Security Council to consider imposing punitive sanctions, arms embargoes and travel bans in response to a military coup.

The United States, which imposed its own sanctions on Thursday, urged other UN member states to follow suit, in its first remarks to the Human Rights Council since returning to the forum this week.

Special Rapporteur Thomas Andrews said there were “growing reports and photographic evidence” that Myanmar 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.

The 47-member forum was meeting 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 Mr. Andrews and other UN monitors to be allowed to visit.

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

But China and Russia said they opposed holding the session. “What happened in Myanmar is essentially Myanmar’s internal affairs,” said Chen Xu, China’s ambassador.

Russian ambassador Gennady Gatilov said human rights issues should be addressed through “open dialogue and cooperation”.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:03:12 PM |

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