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European Union condemns human rights violations in Myanmar

The military's actions have fueled a growing humanitarian crisis with 2.6 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 18 million people in need."

European Union condemns human rights violations in Myanmar

Children of Myanmar refugees playing in a refugee camp in Mizoram

NAYPYIDAW: Three years since February 1, 2021 the day when the military in Myanmar overthrew its democratically elected government, foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs on behalf of the European Union have condemned sexual and gender-based violence and the restriction of fundamental freedoms by the military regime. The joint statement reiterated their call for the Commander-in-Chief and the military to change course, immediately ceasing violence against civilians, releasing all unjustly detained political prisoners, allowing full humanitarian access, and creating space for inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the military regime's ongoing atrocities and human rights violations, such as sexual and gender-based violence, and the restriction of fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, through peaceful protests and the media," the statement read. It noted that under the military regime, violence against civilians has escalated, with thousands jailed, tortured, and killed. Airstrikes, shelling, and arson have been used to destroy civilian infrastructure, including homes, schools, healthcare facilities, and places of worship.

The statement further read, "Systematic discrimination against members of religious and ethnic groups, including Rohingya, is rife. Many are displaced and continue to face horrific conditions, and others have been forced to flee across Myanmar's borders. The military's actions have fueled a growing humanitarian crisis with 2.6 million people displaced from their homes, and more than 18 million people in need."

The statement also called on "all members of the international community to support efforts to push the Myanmar military to cease violence, to bring about genuinely inclusive dialogue, in order to establish a credible, peaceful democratic future for Myanmar; to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people in Myanmar and refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, including its most vulnerable communities, and to cease providing the Myanmar military with the arms and equipment that are necessary for them to commit atrocities."

Further, it strongly encouraged unified efforts by ASEAN to resolve the crisis saying, "We commend the constructive efforts of the ASEAN Chairs and Special Envoys. We call on the military regime to implement ASEAN's Five-Point Consensus and engage meaningfully and positively with ASEAN representatives for Myanmar to transition towards an inclusive democracy," the statement read.

Meanwhile, the US imposed sanctions on Myanmar's military regime and four individuals and two entities linked to Myanmar's military regime have been designated. "We are taking this action to target the regime's sources of revenue which support military activities against civilians. The action also targets those who provide material and support for the production of arms in Burma (Myanmar)," said US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Since the military coup in Myanmar, the country's military has continued to carry out a campaign of violence and repression against the people of Myanmar. The military has conducted airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians. Regime forces have burned tens of thousands of homes across the country and displaced almost 2.6 million people, Miller said.

"There is pervasive discrimination against members of religious and ethnic groups, leaving vulnerable groups, including Rohingya, facing horrific conditions. Many political figures remain unjustly imprisoned by the regime, with some facing life in jail or execution.

As a result of the regime's actions, people across the country lack access to physical security, medical care, and education," the US State Department spokesperson said. The US reiterated its call for the Myanmar military to change course and create space for meaningful and inclusive dialogue towards a future democratic Myanmar."We also call on the international community to increase support for the broad range of political, ethnic, and religious stakeholders seeking a credible and inclusive democratic process to elect a representative government in Burma (Myanmar)," Miller said. The Australian Government also imposed additional targeted sanctions on five entities with direct links to the Myanmar military regime.

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