Press Release

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk condemns Myanmar attacks

11 April 2023

I am horrified by reports of today’s airstrikes by Myanmar fighter jets on a community hall in the Sagaing region, an opposition stronghold in the northwest of the country, that killed dozens of people, including women and children.

It appears schoolchildren performing dances, as well as other civilians, attending an opening ceremony at the hall in Pazi Gyi village, Kanbalu Township were among the victims. A helicopter gunship then reportedly fired on those fleeing the hall. Media reported as many as 100 people may have been killed.

Despite clear legal obligations for the military to protect civilians in the conduct of hostilities, there has been blatant disregard for the related rules of international law.

I also call on all parties to take all feasible precautions to protect the civilian population that is under their control from the effects of attacks, including by avoiding locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.

As I have previously noted, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the military and its affiliated militias are responsible for an extremely broad range of human rights violations and abuses since 1 February 2021, some of which may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.

I firmly believe the international justice processes now underway will one day hold the military leadership accountable for such crimes.

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Jeremy Laurence

OHCHR – Media Unit

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