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Over 40 Aid Workers Fatally Targeted in Myanmar Following 2021 Military Coup

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At least 40 aid workers have died in Myanmar since a 2021 military coup toppled the country’s democratically elected government, according to UN human rights coordinator Volker Türk.

In a report to the organization’s Human Rights Council, Türk condemned the “direct attacks” on aid workers, who work mainly in local organisations, amid fighting between the military council behind the coup and its opponents.

He said the deaths were part of a “deliberate and targeted” effort to block aid and a “calculated denial of the basic rights and freedoms of large segments of the population”.

The United Nations has already warned that obstructing or refusing humanitarian assistance may amount to serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws.

The military council has killed and injured thousands of civilians while destroying goods and infrastructure needed to survive, including food, shelter and medical centers, according to Türk’s report.

An estimated 1.5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced, and nearly 60,000 civilian structures have reportedly been burned or destroyed.

More than 17.6 million people, or a third of the total population, need some form of humanitarian assistance.

Türk told the council that “civilians live under the whim of a reckless military authority that relies on tactics of systematic control, fear and terror.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “Reliable sources indicate that as of yesterday, 3,747 people have been killed at the hands of the army since they assumed power, and 23,747 people have been arrested.”

These numbers include documented cases only, which means the actual number is probably much higher.

In June, the United States announced sanctions against Myanmar’s Ministry of Defense and two “regime-controlled” banks that enable transactions between the military regime and foreign markets for the purchase of weapons and other items.

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