High commissioner of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk Friday condemned military courts in Myanmar for handing out over 130 death sentences in court proceedings not accessible to the public. Seven college students were sentenced to death on November 30, and the UN is working to confirm four additional death sentences against youth activists on December 1.Türk explained that some trials last “just minutes” and accused persons “often” do not have access to their families or legal representation. According to Türk:The military continues to hold proceedings in secretive courts in violation of basic principles of fair trial and contrary to core judicial guarantees of independence and impartiality. Military courts have consistently failed to uphold any degree of transparency contrary to the most basic due process or fair trial guarantees.Myanmar’s National Unity Government, the nation’s democratically elected government in exile, continues to call for aid. In an interview with Radio Free Asia this week, acting President Duwa Lashi La said more than 2,500 people have been killed by the military junta since a coup d’état on February 1, 2021. La also reported that the junta has detained more than 13,000 people, but the UN estimates that figure is closer to 16,500.On April 21, 2021, The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to a Five Point Consensus regarding Myanmar. Türk argues that the junta has clearly acted with “disdain” the Consensus, and rights groups like Human Rights Watch believe ASEAN “has failed to fulfill its pledges or take meaningful steps toward pressing the junta to end its human rights violations.”

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