UN human rights experts are alarmed about the escalation of rights violations in Myanmar including summary executions, forced evictions and arbitrary detention of pro-democracy protesters that may amount to crimes against humanity.
They said UN members should consider applying the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute those responsible for acts.
The experts said among the actions reported to them was a police and military raid last week lasting several hours in the Mingalar Taung Nyunt neighborhood of Yangon at a compound housing around 960 railway employees and their families.
Many people were forcibly evicted at gunpoint as punishment for their participation in a nationwide general strike.
“Forced evictions constitute a gross violation of the right to adequate housing and several other human rights. These actions must stop immediately,” the UN experts said in a March 18 statement.
“Those affected must be allowed to return to their homes and property, and those responsible brought to justice.”
Reports of forced evictions have surfaced in other areas including Hakah, Falam in Chin state, Homalin in the Sagaing region and Taunggyi in Shan state.
The experts deplored the persecution and intimidation of pro-democracy protesters including arbitrary detentions, shootings and summary executions. Live rounds have also been fired randomly at private homes.
“The response of the security forces to the protests is getting more and more violent. We are very troubled by the excessive and deadly use of force and the imposition of martial law in parts of Myanmar,” they added.
“These incidents form part of a disturbing emerging pattern of systematic and widespread attacks against the civilian population of Myanmar, and those responsible should be held criminally responsible under international law.”
At least 121 people have been killed by security forces since March 12. More than 2,400 have been detained and the whereabouts of hundreds are unknown.
United Nations special envoy Christine Schranger Burgener is seeking to visit Myanmar as part of her efforts to calm the situation and set the stage for dialogue and a return to democracy.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on March 18 that a visit to the country under the current circumstances is not possible but the special envoy is continuing to evaluate openings.
“Meanwhile, the special envoy will aim to engage Myanmar’s neighboring countries through a regional visit,” he said.
The United Nations has condemned the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar and Schranger Burgener urged UN members not to acknowledge the illegitimate military junta.
At least 224 people have been killed in anti-coup protests, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Repeated calls by world leaders including Pope Francis to end the bloodshed and pursue dialogue have been ignored by the junta.
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