Coronavirus is ’emboldening’ Myanmar military to carry out ‘war crimes’ says UN human rights expert

A leading United Nations human rights expert claims the Myanmar military is carrying out “war crimes” against ethnic minorities, emboldened by special extended powers intended to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, accused the military of targeting ethnic Rakhine Buddhist civilians during recent clashes with the Arakan Army (AA), a separatist militant group in the western Rakhine State.
Lee told CNN that houses had been burned, a monastery was attacked and people had been arrested and tortured.
“And then we find bodies that have been decapitated, these are Rakhine people,” Lee said Tuesday, as she prepared to conclude her six-year tenure as special rapporteur.
“I am calling the situation crimes against humanity and war crimes. These are the highest, the most heinous and gravest crimes of international law,” she added.

Rebecca Wright and Ivan Watson