Myanmar Junta Accused of Extra-Judicial Executions and Human Rights Abuses

By The Irrawaddy 7 April 2021

The committee representing elected lawmakers from the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government has received 180,000 items of evidence detailing extra-judicial executions and the widespread use of lethal force on peaceful protesters by the Myanmar military regime since their Feb.1 coup.

In the statement the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) said that the evidence reveals wide-ranging human rights abuses by the junta, including more than 540 extra-judicial executions, over 10 deaths in custody of political prisoners and the torture of prisoners.

Moreover, the CPRH said the evidence shows also that the military regime has employed the widespread use of deadly force towards peaceful protesters. Other disproportionate responses towards the anti-coup protests include breach of the right to peaceful assembly, widespread illegal detentions, the targeting of media companies and the arrest of journalists and photographers, as well as restricting access to the internet and other actions to limit free speech on the internet.

Civilians beaten and arrested by the regime’s security forces during a crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Monywa, Sagaing Region in February. /CJ

On Wednesday, legal representatives from the CRPH are set to meet with the head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), a United Nations body with the mandate to collect, preserve and analyze evidence of serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. It also has a mandate to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals.

The CRPH has hired London-based international law firm Volterra Fietta as a legal representative. The firm will advise on international legal proceedings against those responsible for violently cracking down on pro-democracy protesters and armed aggression against democratic representatives.

Volterra Fietta specializes in international law and has experience at the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and other global courts.

In the statement, the CRPH said that their representatives will meet the IIMM to discuss cooperation relating to the atrocities committed by the military since its takeover.

Regime forces arrest anti-coup protesters during a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Kale, Sagaing Region on Wednesday morning./CJ

As of Tuesday, at least 581 civilians including 43 children have been killed by the regime’s forces during the crackdown on peaceful protesters across Myanmar, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP). The death toll had risen to 587 on Wednesday morning, following a series of armed attacks by the regime’s security forces in several townships around the country on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Several people, including three NLD members, have been tortured and killed while in custody. At least 2,750 people have been detained by the military since the coup, including politicians, activists, protesters and journalists.

In early March, Amnesty International said that the military has been using battle tactics against peaceful anti-coup protesters and bystanders. Its evidence lab confirmed that the security forces appeared to be implementing planned, systematic strategies, including the ramped-up use of lethal force. Many of the killings documented amount to extrajudicial executions, Amnesty said.


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