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UN Human Rights Chief says Burma in ‘deadly freefall’ of violence


The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said that Burma is in a “deadly freefall” of violence in an address at the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland on July 6. Since the 2021 military coup, Türk reports that at least 3,747 people were killed and over 1.5 million have been displaced from their homes due to violence. He adds that at least 70,000 homes have been razed by pro-military forces and that there has been a 33 percent increase in air attacks this year compared to last year. 

Türk condemned the military regime blocking humanitarian aid access to international organizations operating in Rakhine State. He said that many Rohingya living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Rakhine State have died since Cyclone Mocha made landfall on May 14 and that very little has been done to help cyclone-impacted communities over the last two months. Forty humanitarian aid workers have been killed and over 200 have been arrested since 2021. 

Türk called on Naypyidaw to free all political prisoners and for the U.N. Security Council to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court (ICC). “Any political solution to this protracted emergency must include accountability,” he added. To conclude his U.N. address, Türk urged the international community to prevent weapons from reaching the military and for measures to be taken to limit the regime’s access to foreign currency and aviation fuel.


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