UN Human Rights Council to Hold Special Session on Myanmar Military Regime

By The Irrawaddy 9 February 2021

YANGON — The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has decided to hold a special session on human rights in Myanmar on Friday after civilian leaders and activities have been detained by the military regime.

The UNHRC’s decision came after a joint request by the United Kingdom and the European Union, which has been supported by 45 member states so far, saying the detention of elected politicians and civilians by the military has grave implications for human rights.

The request said the special session was needed because of “the importance and urgency of the situation”, a UNHRC statement said.

Human rights activist U Aung Myo Min said more targeted sanctions against Myanmar’s military are likely.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, the military regime has arrested more than 140 people, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Tens of thousands of civilians, including civil servants, have joined peaceful protests against the coup across the country. On Monday, the military regime warned anti-coup protesters that legal measures will be taken to prevent any offenses harming the stability of the state, public safety or the rule of law.

The UNHRC said the request has so far been supported by Austria, Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, Malawi, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine and the UK.

Last week, the UN Security Council expressed its deep concern about the coup and called for the regime to release detainees.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that both the UK and EU condemn the coup in Myanmar and arbitrary detention of elected politicians by the military.

In 2007, the UNHRC convened a special session, after Myanmar’s military violently cracked down on peaceful demonstrations, known as the Saffron Revolution.

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