The United Nation's top human right official says Myanmar is "headed in the wrong direction" amid a crackdown on dissidents and minorities.

The Southeast Asian nation's military-backed government has pledged to introduce democratic reforms and hold elections later this year.

But U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein warned Wednesday that "recent developments relating to the human rights of minorities, the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest are calling into question the direction of that reform, and even threatening to set it back."

Zeid cited the jailing of peaceful protesters, journalists and opposition figures, as well as persecution of Myanmar's Rohingyas, a Muslim minority group.

He said "accountability for the military will be a key test for the transition."