Yangon/Berlin, 11 March 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The military junta in Myanmar is deliberately using lethal weapons against participants in peaceful protests, according to investigations by human rights activists.
“Many of the killings documented amount to extrajudicial executions,” Amnesty International said on Thursday, citing analysis of 50 videos.
The research also revealed that some of the military units Amnesty had accused in the past of war crimes and crimes against humanity were now being used against protesters, the rights organization said.
“Footage clearly shows that Myanmar military troops – also known as
the Tatmadaw – are increasingly armed with weapons that are only
appropriate for the battlefield, not for policing actions,” Amnesty said.
Among other things, they were firing indiscriminately with live ammunition in urban areas, it said.
“These Myanmar military tactics are far from new, but their
killing sprees have never before been livestreamed for the world to
see,” said Joanne Mariner, director of crisis response at
In a statement issued after a meeting in New York, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) strongly condemned “the violence against peaceful protestors, including against women, youth and children.”
The UNSC urged Myanmar’s military “to exercise utmost restraint.”
The council also expressed its continued support for the democratic transition in Myanmar and stressed the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and uphold the rule of law.
Mass protests have been ongoing since the military in Myanmar overthrew the government in early February.
Security forces in the country have been cracking down on protesters with increasing ferocity since the coup, now more than five weeks ago. It is estimated that more than 60 people have already been killed.
International appeals and sanctions against the generals have had no effect so far.