The United Nations says it has received “credible information” that at least 18 persons were killed on Sunday when security forces in Myanmar used deadly force against demonstrators against the 1 February military coup.
French news agency AFP reported that at least eight people died.
Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement that the UN strongly condemned the increasingly violent repression against demonstrators and called on the military “to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protestors.”
According to the UN, police and military units used lethal and non-lethal weapons against unarmed demonstrators throughout Sunday, resulting in “at least 18 deaths and more than 30 wounded.”
“Deaths reportedly occurred as a result of live ammunition fired into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku,” Ms. Shamdasani said in the statement. The security forces also used tear gas, as well as flash-bang and stun grenades.
“The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy,” the statement added. “These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression.”
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also noted that the use of lethal force against non-violent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms.
It called for the release of all arrested persons, including political personalities elected at the last elections, particularly Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.