UN rights investigator warns Myanmar against use of lethal force

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Myanmar security forces and police have a duty under international law to refrain from using excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, the UN human rights investigator on Myanmar said on Monday, voicing concern at reports of the use of lethal force.

“Myanmar military personnel and police need to know that ‘following orders’ is no defense for committing atrocities and any such defense will fail, regardless of their place in the chain of command,” Thomas Andrews, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said in a statement issued in Geneva.

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He said that “hundreds of arbitrary detentions” had been recorded in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, and that some people were being detained incommunicado.

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