Human Rights Watch rebukes Australia for assembly with Myanmar junta chief

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch accused Australia’s ambassador to Myanmar of “lending credibility” to Myanmar’s junta authorities. HRW’s criticism came after the ambassador met with the junta’s chief Min Aung Hlaing and of Myanmar’s state-owned media outlets on Wednesday to discuss “cooperation” in various sectors.
HRW Myanmar researcher Manny Maung mentioned the meeting has damage world efforts to hold the chief accountable for human rights abuses, saying, “By taking photo ops and accepting presents, Australia only serves to lend credibility to a army junta that is accused of committing struggle crimes”.
Last month, a human rights organisation, along with the Yale Law School Center, accused Myanmar’s chief Min of creating a special command that deployed snipers to kill unarmed protestors. The School Center and Fortify Rights investigated leaked paperwork and 128 testimonies from survivors, medical workers, witnesses and former army and police personnel relating to the violence in Myanmar.
The report recognized sixty one army and police commanders who the researchers mentioned must be investigated for crimes towards humanity. Lifetime of these individuals are allegedly active-duty army personnel, including a colonel and two majors. The researchers allege chief Min’s new particular command within the capital Naypyidaw was run by four of his prime generals.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Maung urged Australia to “align with its traditional allies” by avoiding additional high-level meetings with junta leaders and immediately imposing sanctions on Myanmar. Meanwhile, an official from Australia’s overseas affairs department mentioned the ambassador had used the assembly to name for Myanmar to stop violence and release detainees.

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