UN warns against harsh treatment of protesters in Myanmar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 16, 2021   •   566

The United Nations (UN) has warned Myanmar’s military for its harsh treatment of protesters, saying that the “world is watching closely.”

In a press briefing, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that UN Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener has called on the Myanmar military to refrain from using violence and respect human rights.

“The right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected, and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals. She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences,” she said.

Protests across Myanmar have grown after the military takeover on February 1 where top political leaders were arrested.

Several of the high officials detained include State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.  

There are also reports that the military use excessive force against the demonstrators.

According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), as of February 12, more than 350 political and state officials, activists, and civil society members have been taken into custody. Several members of the media, monks, and students were also detained

“Several face criminal charges on dubious grounds, and most have received no form of due process or permitted legal representation, family visitations or communication,” according to the UN.

Burgener also reiterated UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s statement and called for a visit to Myanmar under agreeable conditions. -AAC

At least 8 killed in Myanmar during protest against military coup

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 3, 2021

At least eight people were killed during another protest against the military coup in Myanmar, a news agency reported.

Myanmar Now, an independent news service, reported that the junta’s security forces shot and killed at least eight people during some protests on Sunday (May 2).

Communities in Myanmar launched coordinated demonstrations which organizers called “the global Myanmar spring revolution.”

The armed forces of the military have arrested and fired rubber bullets, live ammunition, and grenades at civilians in order to stop the said protests.

One person was killed and at least 20 were injured in the jade-rich town of Hpakant, Kachin State. Three people were killed in the central town of Wetlet.  Meanwhile, two were killed in different towns in Shan State.

It was three months since the military took over the authority from the elected government. Thousands of residents have already been displaced and thousands were killed, according to an estimate of the United Nations. -AAC

DFA brings home 163 more Filipinos from Myanmar

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Yangon, once again chartered another flight from Myanmar with 163 Filipinos on Thursday (April 8).

Most of the repatriates were stranded in the country due to travel restrictions from the pandemic.

This latest chartered flight, along with the previous two from Yangon, were funded by the DFA Assistance-to-Nationals Fund.

The 163 Filipinos from Myanmar included 4 seniors and 14 minors, including 3 infants.

The repatriates will be undergoing quarantine protocols, as required for all those who arrive in the country.

With these new arrivals, the total number of overseas Filipinos who have been repatriated since the start of the pandemic inches closer to 400,000.

From Myanmar, the three chartered flights have now brought home a total of 334 Filipinos.

More people are experiencing severe hunger in Democratic Republic of the Congo — UN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2021

The United Nations has raised concerns after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a record-high level of acute hunger.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), 27.3 million people face “acute” food insecurity. There are also around seven million people who are suffering from “emergency” levels of acute hunger.

One of the factors, according to the UN, is a slump in the country’s economy as well as the effects brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Militia violence also persisted in the area for decades.

Aristide Ongone Obame, FAO Representative in DRC said social and political stability are “essential to strengthen food security and boost the resilience of vulnerable populations”.

There is also a need to boost livestock and the growing of more food.

“The main agricultural season is around the corner and there is no time to waste,” he said. -AAC

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