Britain tells citizens to quit Myanmar, UN warns of ‘crimes against humanity’
Britain on Friday advised its citizens to flee Myanmar, as a UN expert warned the junta is likely committing “crimes against humanity” in its attempt to stay in power.
The military authorities are cracking down with increasing severity on daily protests against their February 1 coup, with at least 70 people killed according to the UN’s top rights expert on the country.
The turmoil prompted Britain, the country’s former colonial ruler, to urge its citizens to get out if they could, warning that “political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising”.
“The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises British nationals to leave the country by commercial means, unless there is an urgent need to stay,” the British foreign ministry said.
The move comes after Thomas Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, gave a stark assessment of the crisis.
The country is “controlled by a murderous, illegal regime” that was likely committing “crimes against humanity,” Andrews told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
These crimes likely include “acts of murder, enforced disappearance, persecution, torture” carried out with “the knowledge of senior leadership”, including junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, Andrews said.
While stressing that such offences can only be determined in a court of law, he said there was clear evidence that the junta’s crimes were “widespread” and part of a “coordinated campaign”.
Thursday saw at least nine protesters killed in different parts of the country, including six in central Myanmar’s Myaing township — five of them shot in the head, according to a witness.
Rights group Amnesty International released a major report on the crisis on Thursday, accusing the junta of using battlefield weapons on unarmed protestors and carrying out premeditated killings…..read more