GENEVA, March 4 (dpa): The UN human rights office has strongly condemned violence carried out by the military dictatorship in Myanmar against opponents of the regime.
"Two years after the military launched a coup, the generals have embarked on a scorched earth policy in an attempt to stamp out opposition," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said in Geneva on Friday. "Urgent, concrete action is needed to end this festering catastrophe."
The head of the Myanmar team at the UN human rights office, James Rodehaver, accused the junta of using military means to fight the opposition. Among other things, people who "Like" a post critical of the regime on social media can be jailed for four years.
The military of the south-east Asian country had overthrown the democratically elected government under the de facto leadership of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The 77-year-old was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.
According to Rodehaver, at least 16,000 people are in custody. Relatives and aid organizations often do not know where they are being held and under what conditions.
The report documents numerous human rights violations in the 12 months to the end of January 2023. At least 2,940 people have died. The military bombed and shelled schools, clinics and entire villages, razing them to the ground to cut off supplies and food to rebel armies.