The United Nations (UN) in Myanmar has expressed ‘strong concerns’ over reports on the use of disproportionate force against some demonstrators.

Tens of thousands of people turned out in street protests against Myanmar’s military coup, which was staged the day when a new session of parliament was supposed to open.

On 1 February, the military seized control of the country claiming widespread fraud in the general election that saw civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party win 83% of the seats.

According to media reports, Suu Kyi, Myanmar President Win Myint and all ministers from the NLD party have been detained or are under house arrest.

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar Ola Almgren said: “I call on the security forces to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

“The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable.”

US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing: “All individuals in Burma have rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, including for the purposes of peaceful protest.

“We repeat our calls for the military to relinquish power, restore democratically elected government, release those detained, and lift all telecommunication restrictions, and to refrain from violence.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced changes to the country’s relationship with Myanmar.

Among the list of measures, including a travel ban, New Zealand is set to suspend ‘all high-level political and military contact with Myanmar’.

It is also removing projects that delivered or will benefit the Myanmar military government.

Nanaia Mahuta said: “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned at the coup in Myanmar. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the military-led government and we call on the military to immediately release all detained political leaders and restore civilian rule.”

Moreover, several businesses worldwide are reassessing their investment projects in the country. Some of them have already terminated or suspended their partnerships.