New York: At least 71 journalists have been arrested by Myanmar authorities since the military coup in February, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Thursday.
“From Myanmar, our colleagues at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) say that 71 journalists have been arrested, with more than half of them still detained since the beginning of February,” Dujarric said, as quoted by Sputnik.
The spokesperson said that some 24 people had been charged for allegedly spreading fake news.
“Our team on the ground remains deeply concerned about the plight of journalists, as well as that of the thousands of people who have been arbitrarily arrested, with many subjected to enforced disappearances,” he added.
On Wednesday, Dujarric had noted that reports of ongoing use of force against children, including live ammunition, are of grave concern to the United Nations.
The ongoing repression of protests in Myanmar could spark a “full-blown conflict” on a par with Syria, the United Nations’ top human rights official warned on Tuesday, urging States with influence to take immediate and impactful action to halt the “slaughter” of civilians.
Over 700 people are reported to have been killed in the crackdown by the security forces since the military overthrew the Government on 1 February.
Thousands more have been injured. At least 3,080 people are currently in detention and there are reports that 23 people have been sentenced to death following secret trials – including four protesters and 19 others who were accused of political and criminal offences, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.