The spokesman for the military junta that seized power in Myanmar after the February 1 coup declared on Thursday (11) that the country was moving towards “genuine democracy” and that the international community was there. was for nothing. concern, despite the thousands of people who took to the streets against the armed forces.
Meanwhile, at least eight people have been killed by security forces while protesting against the dictatorship, bringing the death toll to more than 60, according to an investigation by the Myanmar Political Prisoner Assistance Association .
The army supports the argument that the police and the army have acted with “extreme restraint” in the face of what they term “rebel protesters”. In their versions, it was the participants in the protests who attacked the police in an attempt to undermine national security and stability.
Human rights organizations and testimonies tell a different story, however. Amnesty International accuses the army of using combat tactics and lethal force against unarmed civilians “in a planned, premeditated and coordinated manner”. For the organization, the deaths of demonstrators are extrajudicial executions.
“It is not the actions of overworked officers that make bad decisions,” said Joanne Mariner, director of crisis response at Amnesty International. “These are commanders who show no regrets, already involved in crimes against humanity, openly displacing their troops and deadly methods.”
General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the military junta, told a press conference on Thursday that the security forces act with discipline and only use force when necessary.
According to him, the Western countries – which accumulate criticism of the actions of the Burmese army – make erroneous assumptions, and the demonstrations, daily for more than a month, do not constitute a situation which should concern the international community.
Zaw Min Tun also brought new charges against the fallen Burmese civilian leader on the day of the coup, Aung San Suu Kyi. According to the general, she received at least 600,000 United States dollars (3.4 million reais) and 11 kilos of gold in the form of bribes. to the government.
The Councilor of State is charged with four counts. The first two, presented during coup week, were the illegal importation of six walkie-talkies and an alleged violation of protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The other two, made official earlier this month, are for alleged violation of a telecommunications law that stipulates licenses for equipment, and another for posting information that may “scare or alarm,” a practice opposed by the penal code dating from the colonial period.
Also according to the military spokesman, President Win Myint, also deposed and detained after the seizure of power by the army, and several of his ministers were also involved in corruption cases. Myint, even, is said to have pressured the country’s electoral commission to omit irregularities reported by the military in the last elections.
The National League for Democracy (LND), a party of Suu Kyi and Myint, won 83% of the vote and won 396 of 476 seats in parliament in elections held in November last year in Myanmar. The legend, however, was prevented from taking over when the coup was implemented on the day the new legislature was inaugurated. The military-backed Solidarity and Development Union party won only 33 seats.
The military attempted to use alleged election fraud charges to justify the seizure of power. The military also added to the narrative the argument that the country’s electoral commission used the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to prevent a fair campaign. They also claim to have acted in accordance with the Constitution and that the majority of the population supports their conduct, accusing the protesters of inciting violence.
On Wednesday (10), the 15 member countries of the UN Security Council reached a consensus to condemn violence and call for restraint by the armed forces, but they removed the classification of the takeover as a coup d’état due to opposition to the use of the term by China, Russia, India and Vietnam.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he hoped the council’s statement would make the military realize that it is “absolutely essential” that all prisoners be released and that the election results of November are respected.
The United States announced shortly after the freezing of all assets that the two sons of the leader of the Burmese military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, could hold in the United States. This decision, according to the government of Joe Biden, is “a response to the coup” and “the brutal assassination of peaceful protesters”.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MYANMAR
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the 1947 Constitution and establishes a military regime 1974: The first post-independence Constitution begins 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international criticism 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), opposed to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is barred from coming to power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Peace Prize 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and disrespect for 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, a general retired, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both chambers of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected first civilian president since the coup d 1962 State and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: in the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the vote and defeats the pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders and seizes power with new coup