Myanmar coup: UN expert urges actors with influence to prevent military from using force

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tom Andrews issued a statement calling on all actors with influence in the country to convince the military to refrain from violence ahead of protests planned for Wednesday.

"I fear that Wednesday has the potential for violence on a greater scale in Myanmar than we have seen since the illegal takeover of the government on February 1," Andrews said on Tuesday evening.

"Today, I am issuing an urgent call on all governments, individuals and entities that may have influence on Myanmar military authorities to use that influence to convince the junta that rallies planned for Wednesday must be allowed to proceed without detentions or violence," he said.

Andrews also said he received reports of soldiers being transported to the city of Yangon where a rally has been called for following the beginning of a secret trial of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

"In the past, such troop movements preceded killings, disappearances, and detentions on a mass scale," he warned.

Andrews also urged the international business community to immediately call interlocutors in the State Administrative Council and warn about the risk of suspending business in Myanmar if violence against protesters continues.

Earlier in the month, Myanmar's military overthrew the government and declared a year-long state of emergency hours before the newly-elected parliament was due to convene. Suu Kyi and Myint, along with other top officials accused of election fraud, have been placed under house arrest.

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