The United States condemned a foiled attempt to assassinate Myanmar’s UN envoy in New York on Saturday, calling it part of a “disturbing pattern” of authoritarian regimes and their supporters persecuting opponents around the world.
Two Myanmar citizens were arrested in New York state on Friday for plotting to assassinate or damage Myanmar’s UN ambassador with an arms dealer in Thailand who supplies weapons to the Burmese military.
Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who represents Myanmar’s elected civilian government which was overthrown by the military in February, told Reuters on Wednesday that a threat had been made against him and U.S. authorities had stepped up his security.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations, said on Saturday that the threat “fits a disturbing pattern of authoritarian leaders and their supporters reaching across the globe… to persecute and repress journalists, activists, and others who dare to speak or stand up to them.”
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarussian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics and sought shelter in Poland, was referenced by Thomas-Greenfield, as was a foiled conspiracy by several Iranians to kidnap a New York journalist and rights activist who was critical of Iran.
“These are only the most recent acts of transnational repression, and they must be met with the condemnation of the world and with full and certain accountability,” Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement.