In a conversation with the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Soe Win, the UN Special Envoy reinforced that the right of peaceful assembly must fully be respected and that demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals.
Also in her conversation with the Myanmar military official, Schraner Burgener called for a visit to the country under agreeable conditions.
“She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences”, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a press briefing on Monday.
The Special Envoy will maintain this channel for frank and open dialogue so long as she assesses that it provides space for reversing the current situation and upholding the will of the people of Myanmar, the UN spokesperson added.
Protests across Myanmar have grown steadily since the February 1 military takeover and arrest of top political leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
There have been reports of use of excessive force by police and military against demonstrators, as well as of arbitrary detentions. An increased presence of security forces and armoured vehicles have also been reported in major cities.
According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), as of Friday, more than 350 political and state officials, activists and civil society members, including journalists, monks and students, have been taken into custody. Several face criminal charges on dubious grounds, and most have received no form of due process or permitted legal representation, family visitations or communication.
The military takeover followed escalating tensions between the military and the government after the November 2020 elections, which were won by Ms. Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD).