Myanmar junta accused of crimes against humanity six months on from coup
Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar’s military junta of crimes against humanity as small groups of protesters marked six months since the armed forces seized power.
Bands of university students rode motorbikes around the country’s second-largest city Mandalay on Saturday waving red and green flags, saying they rejected any possibility of talks with the military to negotiate a return to civilian rule.
“There’s no negotiating in a blood feud,” read one sign.
Myanmar’s army seized power on 1 February from the civilian government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said the armed forces’ violent suppression of protests against the coup and arrests of opponents included torture, murder and other acts that violate international humanitarian conventions.
“These attacks on the population amount to crimes against humanity for which those responsible should be brought to account,” Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director, said.
The spokesman for the military authorities, Zaw Min Tun, could not be reached on Saturday to respond to the Human Rights Watch allegations.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group says at least 6,990 people have been arrested since the coup. The group says the armed forces have killed 939 people, a number the military says is exaggerated.
The army has branded its opponents terrorists and says its takeover was in line with the constitution.