Responding to reports that at least 91 people, including a five-year-old boy, were killed by Myanmar security forces across the country on 27 March in its ongoing brutal crackdown on protesters, Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said:
“This is just the latest example of the military authorities’ determination to kill their way out of nationwide resistance to the coup. These abhorrent killings again show the generals’ brazen disregard for the inadequate pressure applied so far by the international community.
“This comes a day after the military announced that further protests would be met with shots to the head.
“The cost of international inaction is being counted in bodies, including children shot dead in their homes. Amid the horrifying death toll is a nation of over 50 million held hostage, subjected to arbitrary arrest and sweeping surveillance, living in fear of death and torture.
“The people of Myanmar continue to protest, all while they grieve more killings by the hour. The nations that participated in the military’s Armed Forces Day events today in the capital of Nay Pyi Taw, particularly China and Russia, are the same states that have shielded the Tatmadaw from accountability time and time again, supplying them with the means to carry out mass slaughter.
“UN Security Council member states’ continued refusal to meaningfully act against this never-ending horror is contemptible.”
At the time of writing, media reported that the military killed nearly 100 people in Yangon, Mandalay and other towns today, including a five-year-old boy. On 26 March, state television announced protesters were “in danger of getting shot to the head and back”.
According to estimates from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPPB), the minimum death toll since the 1 February coup stood at 328 on 26 March.
While a small number of protesters have armed themselves with crude homemade weaponry including molotov cocktails, slingshots and homemade air-pressure rifles, the protests have overall remained peaceful and in the incidents that Amnesty International has examined, lethal force used by the military has been unlawful and excessive.
Elsewhere in the country, armed conflict is escalating between the Myanmar military and ethnic armed groups. Amnesty International has grave concerns about the potential for further mass atrocities as well as the resumption of large-scale conflict and associated mass displacement adding to the country’s existing internally displaced population of over 300,000.
Amnesty is calling on the UN Security Council to impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar, and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
The Security Council must also impose targeted financial sanctions against Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (Myanmar’s military chief now in charge of the country) and other military leaders responsible for atrocity crimes against various ethnic minorities across the country, including the Rohingya.
The UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar has previously called for Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior officials to be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.