Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Anti-coup protesters shout slogans on March 1, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's military government has intensified a crackdown on protesters in recent days, using tear gas and live ammunition, charging at and arresting protesters and journalists. At least 18 people have been killed so far, according to monitoring organizations. (Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images)

Protesters returned to the streets of Yangon and other cities in Myanmar on Monday, March 1, 2021, a day after coup regime forces killed at least 18 demonstrators demanding a return to civilian rule. (Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images) 

UN Leaders Demand Myanmar Coup Regime 'Stop the Repression' as Military and Police Kill 18

"The international community must stand in solidarity with the protestors and all those seeking a return to democracy in Myanmar."

Brett Wilkins

United Nations leaders on Sunday condemned the Myanmar coup regime's crackdown on peaceful protesters—which killed at least 18 people—in cities across the Southeast Asian nation over the weekend as demonstrators defiantly took to the streets again on Monday to demand a return to civilian rule. 

"The people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy."
—Ravina Shamdasani, OHCHR

In a Sunday statement, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres, said the U.N. chief "strongly condemned" the regime's repression and "is deeply disturbed by the increase in deaths and serious injuries."

"The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable," Dujarric added. "The secretary-general urges the international community to come together and send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election and stop the repression."

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Sunday that "the people of Myanmar have the right to assemble peacefully and demand the restoration of democracy."

"These fundamental rights must be respected by the military and police, not met with violent and bloody repression," Shamdasani continued, adding that "use of lethal force against nonviolent demonstrators is never justifiable under international human rights norms."

"The international community must stand in solidarity with the protestors and all those seeking a return to democracy in Myanmar," Shamdasani added. 

Tom Andrews, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, issued a statement Sunday outlining a series of steps he said member nations of the world body could take to oppose the coup regime and its crackdown. 

World leaders also condemned the crackdown, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeting Sunday that the United States "condemn[s] the Burmese security forces' abhorrent violence against the people of Burma [and] will continue to promote accountability for those responsible."

The Associated Press reports police in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, fired tear gas at protesters who returned to the streets Monday to protest the February 1 military coup. This, a day after security forces opened fire on demonstrators with live ammunition and "less-lethal" projectiles, killing at least 18 people, and wounding at least 30 others. 

According to the AP, at least five people were killed in Yangon on Sunday, while another five demonstrators were killed in the small southeastern city of Dawei. An AP journalist, Thein Zaw, was among the 1,000 people reportedly arrested over the weekend.

Myanmar's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with two more "crimes"—including publishing information that causes "fear or alarm"—by the coup regime on Monday, Reuters reports.

Suu Kyi—a Nobel laureate who defended Myanmar's government and military against accusations of genocide of the country's Rohingya minority—was arrested on the first day of the coup under the pretext of violating import-export laws for having walkie-talkies in her home. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Warnock Defeats Walker in Georgia, Giving Democrats 51-49 Senate Majority

"Tonight, the people—young, Black, Brown, and working people—expanded the Senate majority, neutralized the power of Joe Manchin, and defeated yet another fascist," the Sunrise Movement cheered.

Brett Wilkins ·


'About Damn Time': NY Jury Finds Trump Organization Guilty on All Counts of Tax Fraud

"Today's guilty verdict against the Trump Organization shows that we will hold individuals and organizations accountable when they violate our laws to line their pockets," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Brett Wilkins ·


Oxfam Rebukes EU Over Delayed Deal on Global Minimum Corporate Tax

"This is a loss to ordinary people who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and a win to the ultra-profitable corporations," said the group's tax expert for the bloc.

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Biodiversity Summit Called 'Make-or-Break Moment' for Wildlife

"The deluded dreams of billionaires aside, there is no Planet B," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. "We must fix the world we have."

Julia Conley ·


Congressional Progressives, Climate Activists Rally Against Manchin's 'Dirty Deal'

"As if spending $847 billion on the military-industrial complex wasn't bad enough," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, "now they want to add sacrificing frontline communities for polluter profits to the package?"

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo