US imposes sanctions against Myanmar's military leaders, entities

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Myanmar's military regime braced for a seventh straight day of street protests on Friday after Washington announced sanctions on leaders of the coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

She was addressing a special session of the council urgently called for by Britain and the European Union to address the situation in Myanmar after the military there seized control on February 1. It was adopted unanimously, although Myanmar, Russia and China envoys said they "disassociated" themselves from the resolution.

The sponsors of Human Rights Council resolutions often agree to soften the language of their texts to win consensus and to show the 47-member body based in Geneva is united on thorny issues.

The council has no power to impose sanctions but can train a political spotlight on rights abuses and violations.

"The disproportionate use of force, the use of live ammunition - those are all unacceptable", Dujarric stressed.

"If military coup is not reversed, arbitrary arrests will increase", said the AAPP, a long-established association to help political prisoners in Myanmar.

Other countries are considering similar moves. "The world is watching".

The resolution called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of Ms Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and other senior officials in the government, a lifting of internet restrictions and unimpeded humanitarian access.

It called upon Myanmar authorities "to engage and cooperate with United Nations human rights mechanisms".

Myanmar's army on Saturday ordered the arrest of seven well-known backers of protests against this month's coup, including Min Ko Naing, who has been a leading pro-democracy activist since bloodily supressed protests in 1988.

"As a sovereign country in a world of sovereign states, the Philippines can not stress strongly enough the primacy of national internal efforts towards democratic reforms, and never by the imposition of foreign solutions whether in regional or multilateral contexts, including through this Council", it said. Mr Andrews has been seeking the right to visit Myanmar, which its government has denied.

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"In addition, we're freezing United States assistance that benefits the Burmese government, while maintaining our support for healthcare, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the Burmese people directly".

The United States on Thursday announced a series of sanctions against multiple Myanmar's military leaders and entities.

"For over 20 years, successive high commissioners and many eminent experts have briefed this council, and its predecessor, on violations committed by the country's military, which include some of the most serious crimes alleged under global law", she said. Her lawyer says he has not been allowed to see her.

It urged the military government to refrain from using violence on protesters.

She was detained with dozens of other members of her National League for Democracy party, including President Win Myint, ending a decade of civilian rule and triggering worldwide condemnation. The election commission has said there is no evidence to support those claims.

However, Myanmar's ambassador to the U.N.in Geneva, Myint Thu, was not swayed by these arguments.

Since taking Suu Kyi and her top allies into custody, troops have stepped up arrests of civil servants, doctors and others joining strikes to call on the generals to relinquish power.

Meanwhile, the military government of Myanmar moved ahead with its investigation of the alleged "election fraud" by arresting several members of the former Union Election Commission (UEC) which was responsible for the November 8 national elections past year. "We do not want to stall our nascent democratic transition in the country".

Mass street demonstrations in Myanmar entered their second week Saturday with neither protesters nor the military government they seek to unseat showing any signs of backing off from confrontations.

Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said: 'Attempts to whip up hype around the situation in Myanmar need to cease'.

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