Burma: UN calls for targeted sanctions on those responsible for the coup

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Geneva | The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for targeted sanctions against those responsible for the military putsch in Burma, so as not to cause further suffering to the population.

Speaking on the occasion of an extraordinary session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on Burma requested by the Europeans, Deputy High Commissioner Nada al-Nashif said that the UN “is following closely the situation of more than 350 politicians, state officials, activists and members of civil society, including journalists, monks and students, who have been detained ”.

“The whole world is watching,” added Michelle Bachelet’s assistant to the military in power since the February 1 coup, deeming “unacceptable” the use of violence against demonstrators.

She deplored the “draconian measures taken this week to prevent peaceful meetings and hamper freedom of expression”, as well as the strengthening of the police and military presence in the streets.

Nada al-Nashif also asked the international community that the sanctions taken by the international community be “targeted”: “the leaders of this coup are an appropriate target for such actions”.

“It is of paramount importance that no harm is inflicted on the most vulnerable people in the country; and that aid in the fight against the pandemic can continue, just like humanitarian aid in the country’s conflict zones, ”she insisted.

At the end of the discussions at the HRC, the countries must vote at the end of the day on a draft resolution, proposed by the EU and London, condemning the military putsch in Burma and calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the reestablishment of civilian government.

Finally, the draft resolution asks the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma to assess the situation by going there urgently. However, there is little chance that Burma, uncooperative with the UN, will accept such a coming.

“We regret that our Office has long been denied a presence in Burma and we urge the military authorities to grant the Office of the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Burma unlimited and immediate access Nada al-Nashif told the Council.

In Geneva, some diplomats hope the resolution can be adopted by consensus, but nothing is certain. The position of Beijing and Moscow, traditional supporters of the Burmese army at the United Nations, will be closely scrutinized.