OREANDA-NEWS. The G7 foreign ministers strongly condemned the violent crackdown by security forces on peaceful protests in Myanmar, where a military coup took place in early February. «The use of live cartridges against unarmed people is unacceptable», the Group of Seven and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in a joint statement released on Tuesday, February 23.

Military and police personnel should exercise maximum restraint, respect human rights and international law, the document emphasizes. Anyone who responds to peaceful protests with violence must be held accountable, the statement continued.

«We express our condolences in connection with the loss of life», the G7 representatives said. Two people died and at least 20 others were injured on February 20 as a result of the use of live ammunition by security forces in Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay. The foreign ministers demanded the release of all «arbitrarily detained persons, including State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint».

Meanwhile, a court in Malaysia on February 23 decided to temporarily suspend a critical plan to expel 1,200 people to Myanmar, the «AFP news agency» reported. The migrants and refugees, including members of the Rohingya Muslim minority, have already been transported by buses and trucks to a military base on the west coast of Malaysia, where they were to be transferred to Myanmar Navy ships. The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered a temporary suspension of the expulsion in order to hold a hearing on the human rights defender's request to stop the deportation on February 24.