Paris [France], February 23 (ANI): The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven most developed countries on Tuesday 'firmly condemned' the deadly use of force by Myanmar's military against people protesting a coup.
"We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union firmly condemn violence committed by Myanmar's security forces against peaceful protests," the joint statement from the G7 read.
According to Sputnik, at least two protesters have died after the junta seized power in Myanmar on February 1. Tens of thousands have rallied across the country to demand the release of the elected leaders, prompting a military crackdown.
The group offered condolences for the loss of life and called for the Myanmar military to exercise "utmost respect and respect international law".
"We offer condolences for the loss of life. The military and the police must exercise utmost restraint and respect human rights and international law. Use of live ammunition against unarmed people is unacceptable. Anyone responding to peaceful protests with violence must be held to account," the group said.
The group has also condemned the intimidation of those opposing the coup and raised concerns at the crackdown on freedom of expression, including through the internet blackout and draconian changes to the law that repress free speech. "The systematic targeting of protesters, doctors, civil society and journalists must stop and the state of emergency must be revoked. We continue to call for full humanitarian access to support the most vulnerable," the group continued.
The G7 foreign ministers reiterated their call for the immediate and unconditional release of those detained arbitrarily, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and continue to stand with the people of Myanmar in their quest for democracy and freedom.
Following the use of violence on the pro-democracy protesters in Mandalay by the Myanmar military, the United States on Monday (local time) designated two additional State Administrative Council (SAC) members, saying, Washington will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for coup leaders and those responsible for this violence.
"Today, the United States is responding by designating two additional State Administrative Council (SAC) members, Maung Maung Kyaw and Moe Myint Tun. These designations were made pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(A) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, 'Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma'," said US State Secretary Antony Blinken.
On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the government and declared a year-long state of emergency hours before the newly-elected parliament was due to convene. State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, along with other top officials accused of election fraud, have been placed under house arrest. The coup triggered mass protests across the country. (ANI)