Myanmar authorities urged to release over 100 detained protestors

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OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. UN Photo (file)

The Government of Myanmar has been urged by the UN human rights office to release over 100 students and other protestors arrested after their participation in a demonstration on Tuesday.

The protestors in the central town of Latpadan in the southern Bago region of Myanmar were reportedly calling for reform in the education system.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concern about reports of the use of excessive force by the police.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The UN said that while a number of the 127 protestors who were reportedly arrested were later released, most of them are still detained in Tharawaddy prison.

Approximately 60 of them have been charged under various laws.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noted that the government has started an inquiry into another incident involving the dispersal of protests in Yangon on 5 March.

OHCHR Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani says the government of Myanmar is being urged to also investigate the handling of Tuesday's protests. 

"We urge the Government to unconditionally release all those detained for the exercise of their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and to amend the laws that place unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on people's rights, particularly the Law on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession." (19")

Ms Shamdasani said any use of force should be proportional to the seriousness of the offence.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'07"

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