UN calls for accountability after WHO worker killed in Myanmar | Conflict News

The WHO says Myo Min Htut was shot useless in Mawlamyine in Mon State in unclear circumstances on Wednesday.

The United Nations has condemned the deadly taking pictures of a World Well being Group (WHO) worker in jap Myanmar, the newest demise in a collection of killings because the navy authorities took over final yr.

The UN and the WHO mentioned Myo Min Htut, a WHO driver for 5 years, was shot useless on Wednesday whereas using his motorbike in Mawlamyine in Mon State, near Thailand, in unclear circumstances.

The taking pictures follows what rights teams say is a sample of violence, retribution and vigilantism in military-ruled Myanmar, the place native directors and suspected informants have been killed on a near-daily foundation.

The navy overthrew an elected authorities final yr and has used lethal drive and mass arrests to suppress demonstrations. Some civilians have since taken up arms to combat police and troopers, answering the decision of a shadow Nationwide Unity Authorities (NUG) for a individuals’s revolt.

Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN resident coordinator, mentioned the UN was “saddened” by the killing of Myo Min Htut and that it “sends heartfelt condolences to his household”.

“The United Nations appeals to all events and stakeholders to respect the neutrality of the United Nations and Humanitarians and additional requires all events to guard the rights and security of civilians and strongly condemns acts of violence in opposition to civilians,” he added.

The WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the demise.

“We condemn all types of violence, & count on an neutral investigation & the perpertrators to be held accountable,” he wrote on Twitter.

In December, two workers members of worldwide support group Save the Kids had been amongst dozens of individuals killed in a Christmas Eve bloodbath that was blamed on Myanmar navy authorities troops.

Their burnt our bodies had been discovered on a freeway within the jap state of Kayah.

Armed group claims accountability

The anti-military individuals’s defence drive in Mawlamyine, which has pledged its help for the NUG, claimed accountability for Myo Min Htut’s killing, accusing him of being an informant to the navy authorities and of harassing individuals who joined strikes and protests in opposition to final yr’s coup.

“We let him retire from this human world,” the Mawlamyine militia group mentioned in an announcement, describing Myo Min Htut as an “informer”, including it had carried out its personal investigation.

The WHO’s Myanmar workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the allegations made by the Mawlamyine militia, Reuters information company mentioned.

The NUG, which the navy authorities has outlawed as a “terrorist” organisation, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, Reuters mentioned.

Myanmar military says activist, lawmaker to face death sentence | News

Activist Kyaw Min Yu and Nationwide League for Democracy lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw had appeals towards sentence rejected.

Myanmar’s navy authorities stated that appeals by two distinguished democracy activists towards their loss of life sentences had been rejected, paving the best way for the nation’s first executions in many years.

Veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a lawmaker for the previous governing Nationwide League for Democracy occasion, have been sentenced to loss of life by a navy tribunal in January on fees of treason and terrorism, based on a navy assertion on the time.

A spokesperson for the navy authorities stated on Friday that their appeals towards the loss of life sentence have been rejected.

“Beforehand, the convicts sentenced to loss of life may enchantment and if no choice was made, then their loss of life sentences wouldn’t be applied,” spokesperson Zaw Min Tun advised the BBC’s Burmese language service.

“At the moment, that enchantment was rejected so the loss of life sentences are going to be applied,” he stated.

No particulars have been offered as to when the executions would happen.

Representatives of the 2 activists couldn’t be reached for remark and it was unclear whether or not or not the 2 had denied the costs towards them. The navy didn’t point out how the 2 activists had pleaded.

Although the navy has sentenced dozens of anti-coup activists to loss of life as a part of its crackdown on dissent after seizing energy final yr, Myanmar has not carried out an execution for many years.

Phil Robertson, a deputy director at Human Rights Watch, stated the choice to “transfer in the direction of executing two distinguished political leaders will probably be like pouring gasoline on the hearth of in style anti-military resistance within the nation”.

“Such a transfer may also result in international condemnation and cement the junta’s repute as among the many worst of the worst human rights abusers in Asia.”

The Myanmar navy has acquired widespread condemnation overseas for ousting an elected authorities in a coup greater than a yr in the past, and for the brutal crackdown that it has since unleashed on critics, opposition members and activists.

The UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated in a brand new report that the variety of folks displaced inside strife-torn Myanmar has for the primary time exceeded a million, with nicely over half the entire dropping their properties after the navy takeover in 2021.

The report stated that greater than 694,300 folks have turn out to be displaced from their properties because the takeover, and an estimated 346,000 folks have been displaced by combating earlier than final yr’s coup.

Roughly 40,200 folks have fled to neighbouring nations and greater than 12,700 “civilian properties”, together with homes, church buildings, monasteries and faculties are estimated to have been destroyed, based on the UN.

Myanmar military court delays verdict in Aung San Suu Kyi trial | Aung San Suu Kyi News

Nobel laureate has been detained for the reason that army overthrew the democratically elected authorities final yr.

A army courtroom in Myanmar has delayed giving its first verdict within the corruption trial of overthrown chief Aung San Suu Kyi, whose elected authorities was eliminated in a February 2021 coup.

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained for the reason that generals’ energy seize put an finish to the nation’s transient interval of democracy.

She has since been hit with a collection of fees, together with violating the official secrets and techniques act, corruption and electoral fraud. She faces a long time in prison if convicted on all counts.

“There was no verdict at the moment” within the corruption trial by which Suu Kyi is accused of accepting a bribe of $600,000 in money and gold bars from the previous chief minister of Yangon, Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the army authorities was quoted as saying by AFP information company on Monday.

He didn’t give any particulars on when a verdict could be reached within the case, which may see Aung San Suu Kyi jailed for 15 years or longer. She is dealing with a complete of 10 corruption charges, every with a attainable 15-year jail time period.

Journalists have been barred from attending the particular courtroom hearings within the capital, Naypyidaw. Aung San Suu Kyi’s attorneys have additionally been banned from talking to the media.

She has already been sentenced to 6 years in jail for incitement in opposition to the army, breaching COVID-19 guidelines and breaking a telecommunications regulation – though she’s going to stay below home arrest whereas she fights different fees.

That seemingly excludes the favored chief from elections the army authorities mentioned it plans to carry by subsequent yr.

Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi, who has extensively coated occasions in Myanmar, mentioned a responsible verdict, like within the earlier trials, was broadly anticipated.

“This case carries a a lot heavier sentence than the opposite circumstances she is dealing with. The opposite trials which have gone on in opposition to her have been for comparatively minor offences, with a lot shorter most jail phrases,” Looi mentioned.

Beneath a earlier army authorities, Aung San Suu Kyi spent lengthy spells below home arrest at her household’s colonial-era mansion in Yangon.

For the reason that February 1, 2021 coup, many members of her Nationwide League for Democracy, which trounced a military-backed get together in 2020 elections, have been arrested, with one chief minister sentenced to 75 years in jail.

More than 13,000 people have also been arrested and 1,700 killed by the military, based on the Help Affiliation of Political Prisoners, an activist group.

‘Using citizenship as a weapon’ Myanmar military targets critics | Politics News

Since March, the army regime in Myanmar has introduced the termination of citizenship of 33 high-profile dissidents, a transfer critics have described as an abuse of human rights and a breach of worldwide regulation.

These focused embody diplomats refusing to work for the army, members of a parallel authorities arrange in opposition to final 12 months’s coup, outspoken celebrities and outstanding activists. Three separate notices in state media mentioned their citizenship was terminated as a result of they dedicated “acts that might hurt the pursuits of Myanmar”.

The military seized power in February 2021, after the Nationwide League for Democracy (NLD) underneath Aung San Suu Kyi received a landslide reelection victory, which the army refused to recognise. The coup sparked a political disaster – a whole lot of 1000’s of civil servants went on strike, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest and peaceful demonstrations transformed to take up arms following brutal army crackdowns.

Amongst these stripped of citizenship is Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, who dramatically declared his continued loyalty to the overthrown authorities shortly after the coup. He has been allowed to retain his seat on the UN because the army struggles for formal recognition internationally. Different diplomats stripped of citizenship embody Myanmar Ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn, and Thet Htar Mya Yee San, a second secretary on the Myanmar embassy in the USA.

The coverage has additionally focused outstanding members of the Nationwide Unity Authorities – a rival cupboard arrange by some politicians elected within the November 2020 polls.

“The junta’s determined makes an attempt to hurt us and make us stateless are completely unlawful and won’t deter me, nor my colleagues from our work for the courageous folks of Myanmar who’ve suffered a lot for thus lengthy. Certainly, it strengthens our resolve,” Dr Sasa, NUG spokesperson and minister of worldwide cooperation, instructed Al Jazeera.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, says the coverage is simply the newest instance of the army “utilizing citizenship as a weapon”.

Myanmar's Ambassador to the U.N. Kyaw Moe Tun speaks during a special session of the UN General Assembly
Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun is one in all 33 folks the army have stripped of their citizenship, making the bulletins in state media [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

“There are nonetheless many activists from earlier generations of democracy protesters within the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s who nonetheless haven’t had their Burmese citizenship restored,” he mentioned, including that these points are unlikely to be resolved till democracy is restored.

Emerlynne Gil, deputy regional director for analysis at Amnesty Worldwide, says terminating citizenship is “inconsistent with worldwide regulation” if it leaves the victims stateless.

“That is the doubtless consequence for these focused by the Myanmar army because the nation doesn’t permit twin citizenship,” Gil mentioned.

She provides that the citizenship terminations “look like a part of a local weather of retribution within the nation, the place army authorities use any means regardless of how merciless or illegal to silence opposition” to the coup.

Sasa notes depriving folks of their nationality has lengthy been a tactic for the “genocidal” Myanmar army.

“A whole bunch of 1000’s of Myanmar folks, significantly our Rohingya brothers and sisters have suffered the identical destiny. Residing stateless within the nation they have been born in. The one nation they’ve ever recognized,” he mentioned.

Many within the NLD beforehand defended the army’s violent 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya, which the US just lately declared a genocide.

Many inside the pro-democracy motion labelled the primarily Muslim Rohingya as unlawful immigrants from Bangladesh in an try to justify their lack of citizenship rights and therapy that Amnesty Worldwide as soon as described as “apartheid”. Aung San Suu Kyi even defended the military on the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice in The Hague.

Rohingya women holding umbrellas wade through a chocolate-brown coloured channel after fleeing Myanmar in 2017.
Myanmar’s largely Muslim Rohingya have been accused of being unlawful immigrants and a whole lot of 1000’s fled after a brutal army crackdown in 2017. Because the coup, nevertheless, the pro-democracy motion has modified its stance and promised them full citizenship rights [File: AM Ahad/AP Photo]

However following the coup, the NUG has reversed its strategy and has dedicated to defending Rohingya human rights and recognising their citizenship in Myanmar.

Passports cancelled

Myanmar’s generals usually are not the one ones to make use of citizenship as a weapon towards their opponents and critics.

Activists and politicians in different Southeast Asian international locations have additionally confronted authoritarian restrictions on their citizenship rights.

In 2019, Cambodia’s international affairs ministry cancelled the passports of 12 outstanding opposition politicians, seemingly in an try to forestall them from returning to the nation. Thailand’s international affairs ministry equally reportedly revoked passports of political activists in 2021, apparently to cease them from fleeing the nation.

Robertson says Cambodia and Thailand had violated “rights to freedom of motion, and the correct to enter and go away one’s nation” and known as for these practices to “be halted instantly”.

“It’s a small step from cancelling passports to what Myanmar has completed in stripping citizenship, and in each instances, exiles are prevented from returning to their residence nation,” he mentioned.

Mu Sochua, vp of the Cambodia Nationwide Rescue Celebration (CNRP) and a twin US citizen, was among the many Cambodians to have her passport revoked.

“There’s nothing extra devastating than to be stripped of your nationality and the correct to return to our native land,” Sochua instructed Al Jazeera. She fled the nation in 2017 after CNRP President Kem Sokha was arrested and charged with treason, in a case broadly dismissed as politically motivated. She was prevented from returning in 2019.

“I left Cambodia in a single day forsaking a house, a nation, the folks underneath my care and most vital my husband’s ashes that I introduced again to Cambodia after he handed within the US,” Sochua mentioned.

She mentioned earlier than she left Cambodia, she would go to her husband’s chedi, or tomb, on holidays and different vital occasions to mild incense and ask for his religious assist.

Mu Sochua holds a Cambodian flag as she takes part in a rally following the 2013 elections
Different regimes in Southeast Asia have additionally focused citizenship rights, with Cambodia cancelling the passports of a number of opposition politicians, together with Mu Sochua, seen right here at a rally after the 2013 elections [File: Heng Sinith/AP Photo]

Denied entry to Cambodia, she will now not carry out these vital rituals.

“A passport for somebody dwelling overseas is your solely tie to residence. To any citizen of any nation it’s your authorized and nationwide identification. Even your satisfaction. Greater than anything it’s your constitutional proper to own a passport,” she mentioned. Whereas Sochua additionally has US citizenship and journey paperwork, she says not less than 5 of her colleagues now don’t have any journey paperwork in any respect.

Sochua says she has been involved with Sasa concerning the scenario in Myanmar. “Autocratic regimes study from one another. They belong to the identical membership,” she mentioned, including that the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations has failed in “some ways” to discourage member states from taking such actions.

Others warn that Western governments could have additionally set a foul instance by stripping citizenship from nationals who joined or have been linked to ISIL (ISIS).

A latest examine from the Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion discovered an “alarming gravitation in direction of the securitisation of citizenship” (PDF) and famous deprivation powers have been more and more a part of nationality legal guidelines in lots of European international locations, in addition to the Center East.

Though information was scant, it discovered that whereas Bahrain had banished the most individuals up to now 20 years, the UK was “a worldwide chief within the race to the underside”, with 212 folks disadvantaged of citizenship in the identical interval.

“Western international locations’ actions to strip citizenship of their residents who’ve joined ISIS fighters in Syria and elsewhere has created a slippery slope that dictators just like the Myanmar generals can use to justify their illegitimate actions,” Robertson warned.

Whereas ISIL (ISIS) fighters could strike a much less sympathetic determine than pro-democracy activists, consultants say there is no such thing as a authorized distinction within the act of leaving any person stateless.

“Governments throughout the board ought to cease resorting to focusing on citizenship simply because they don’t like what a person is doing,” Robertson added.

Dissidents like Sasa, in the meantime, reject the army’s skill to outline their identities.

“This land, this tradition, this identification, this heritage, I take with me in my coronary heart. It can’t be taken from me, it can’t be crushed out of me, and I’ll by no means let it go. My identification just isn’t outlined by a hateful and bigoted army,” he mentioned.