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Washington (AFP) – The international community increased pressure on the Burmese military junta on Monday, with sanctions from the United States and the United Kingdom and a UN investigation for “crimes against humanity”, a year after the coup.
“Tragically, reports received over the past year suggest that more than 1,000 people have been killed in circumstances that may qualify as crimes against humanity or war crimes,” Nicholas Koumjian, head of the UN Independent Investigation Mechanism, said in a statement. United Nations for Burma.
This mechanism, created by the UN Human Rights Council in 2018, is mandated to collect evidence showing that international crimes were committed in Burma and that international law was violated. The goal is to be able to build a case that facilitates criminal proceedings.
“The security forces detained thousands of civilians in circumstances involving credible accusations of arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and even murder in custody,” added the head of the Independent Investigation Mechanism.
“Those who plan to commit crimes should know that serious international crimes have no statute of limitations,” Koumjian said.
“International justice has a very long memory and one day the perpetrators of the most serious international crimes committed in Burma will be held accountable,” he warned.
The United States imposed financial sanctions on seven people and two entities “linked to the military regime in Burma” on Monday, one year after the coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The sanctions were adopted in coordination with the UK and Canada and affect the country’s top judicial officials: Attorney General Thida Oo, Chief Justice Tun Tun Oo and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Tin Oo. according to a statement from the US Treasury.
It also sanctions four other people and two entities accused of financially supporting the junta, in particular by supplying weapons and equipment.
“America Does Not Forget”
“As long as the regime deprives the people of Burma of their democratic voice, we will make the military and its supporters pay for it,” US President Joe Biden warned in a statement.
“I say to the Burmese people: we have not forgotten your struggle and we will continue to support your courageous determination to bring democracy and the rule of law to your country,” he said.
The United Kingdom “will always defend the right to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Like other nations that share the same values, we will hold this brutal and oppressive regime accountable”, promised for its part in a statement the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, has been in detention since the coup that ended a decade of democratic transition.
The Nobel Peace Prize has just been indicted. They accuse him of having pressured the electoral commission during the 2020 legislative elections won by the National League for Democracy (NLD).
She has already been sentenced to six years in prison and faces decades in prison at the end of the trial.
A year after the overthrow of the civilian government, the rebellion multiplies and the military junta increases its repression, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.
The UN envoy for Burma, Noeleen Heyzer, also called on Monday for a “humanitarian meeting” with “most of the stakeholders” in the conflict in Burma.
“At the end of 2021, more than 320,000 people were still displaced inside the country. Since then the number has exceeded 400,000. This is added to the 340,000 people who were already displaced before February 1, 2021,” he detailed in a conference virtual press.
© 2022 AFP
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The US and the UN put pressure on Burma a year after the coup