UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Tuesday (30 Jan) detailed the deepening human rights crisis in Myanmar three years after the military coup. Türk underscored the dire need for global attention to the escalating suffering in Myanmar.
“Amid all of the crises around the world, it is important no one is forgotten. The people of Myanmar have been suffering for too long,” Türk stated, highlighting the deteriorating situation since the end of October last year. The Myanmar military’s aggressive response to setbacks, including “waves of indiscriminate aerial bombardments and artillery strikes,” has significantly worsened the crisis.
Verified reports indicate that over 554 people have died since October, with the total civilian death toll in 2023 exceeding 1,600, a 300-person increase from the previous year.
The number of political arrests has reached nearly 26,000, with 19,973 individuals still detained, many reportedly facing torture without the prospect of a fair trial. In the past three years, about 1,576 individuals have died in military custody.
Türk described the military’s actions as a targeted punishment against civilians, stating, “Military tactics have consistently focused on the punishment of civilians who they view as supporting their enemies.” This includes attacks on medical facilities and schools, breaching international humanitarian law standards.
The communication and internet services have been disrupted in 74 townships, including most of the 17 townships in Rakhine State, adding to the challenges faced by civilians in conflict zones.
Türk emphasized the need for measures to warn civilians of impending conflict, stating, “Indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes underline the lack of measures to protect civilians on the ground, including disruption of basic communications that would help warn civilians in advance of fighting so they could get out of harm’s way.”
In Rakhine State, where violence resumed in November, the Rohingya community has suffered significantly. Türk noted, “There have now been several reports of Rohingya deaths and injuries amid the military’s shelling of Rohingya villages.” The January 26 clash in Hpon Nyo Leik village, resulting in at least 12 Rohingya civilian deaths and 30 others wounded, underscores the severity of the situation.
He noted that the Arakan Army allegedly positioned its troops in and around this Rohingya village anticipating the military’s attacks. The military repeatedly shelled the village, destroying infrastructure.
Highlighting the obligations of conflict parties, Türk asserted, “Parties to armed conflicts must take constant care to spare the civilians and civilian objects, in the conduct of military operations.”
He also drew attention to the plight of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, embarking on perilous sea journeys due to inhospitable conditions and lack of regional support.
Türk called for increased international efforts to hold the Myanmar military accountable, referencing the International Court of Justice’s directive for Myanmar to prevent acts of genocide against the Rohingya. He stressed, “This crisis will only be resolved by insisting on accountability for the military’s leadership, the release of political prisoners and the restoration of civilian rule.”
Urging UN Member States to implement targeted sanctions against the Myanmar military, Türk emphasized the need to limit their capabilities and adherence to international law. He commended the resilience of Myanmar’s civil society and democratic movements, advocating for their inclusion in the restoration of democracy and human rights in Myanmar.
US couple’s decision to skip showers in Malaysia over discoloured water criticised
Good Samaritan earns praise for assisting lost girl in Geylang
Bishan HDB maisonette sets record with S$1.48M sale
STB grants support for Taylor Swift concerts, foresees economic boost for Singapore
NUS holds 19th, NTU climbs to 32nd in Times World University Rankings 2024
Leaks and condensation issues persist for some Tengah residents using CCS
NParks investigates alleged wild chicken capture in Pasir Ris Park
Netizens amused by ‘washrooms basic cleaning’ course on SkillsFuture
Road fatalities in Singapore surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023
Bayer cuts dividends to legal minimum to tackle debt burden
RDU to propose Shadow Budget on 24 Feb, advocating balanced approach
Prabowo Subianto’s potential electoral triumph raises concerns for West Papua’s future
Singapore1 week ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Singapore1 week ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Featured5 days ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments6 days ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Parliament2 weeks ago
SG Parliament rejects PSP’s motion calling for changes in reserves policies
Civil Society6 days ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society4 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion