NEW YORK: The international community must take concerted, immediate measures to stem the spiral of violence in Myanmar, where the military has engaged in systematic and widespread human rights violations and abuses - some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a new report on Wednesday.
The report, released for the 49th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, said Myanmar's military and security forces have shown a flagrant disregard for human life, bombarding populated areas with airstrikes and heavy weapons and deliberately targeting civilians.
Citing the determination of Myanmar's people in their opposition to the coup, Bachelet called on the international community to do all it can to resolve the crisis and hold perpetrators of gross violations of international human rights law accountable.
"Throughout the tumult and violence of the past year, the will of the people has clearly not been broken. They remain committed to seeing a return to democracy and to institutions that reflect their will and aspirations," Bachelet said.
Covering the period since the 1 February 2021 military takeover, the report is based on interviews with over 155 victims, witnesses, and advocates, whose accounts were corroborated with satellite imagery, verified multimedia files, and credible open-source information.
At least 1,600 people have been killed by security forces and their affiliates and more than 12,500 people have been detained. At least 440,000 others have been displaced and 14 million are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, the delivery of which has largely been blocked by the military in new and pre-existing areas of need.
The report concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe the military, the Tatmadaw, had engaged in violence and abuse as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against civilians - patterns of conduct that may amount to crimes against humanity.