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Further 2000 people get detained in continuing protests in Myanmar

UN condemns the actions and calls for more sanctions

by: Julie Sulser

Daily anti-coup protests are continuing across Myanmar, as military crackdowns on protesters are becoming increasingly violent and deadly. Just on the 11th of March, seven people were killed in the protests, six of them in Myaing, a town in central Myanmar. Most were killed by shots in the head, witnesses report. This indicates deliberate targeting as part of the military’s tactic to intimidate and create fear among the protestors, according to BBC’s South East Asia Correspondent, Jonathan Head.

In total, more than 70 people are believed to have been killed in the protests since the coup in February.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners also reports a further 2,000 people that have been detained during protests and in nightly raids. Among them are around 200 protestors, many of them students that were part of a group of protesters rounded up on March 4th in eastern Yangon.

This marks the largest mass arrest of protestors to date.

Photo is an illustration. Photo courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay.

The whereabouts and conditions of the arrested remain unknown. However, suspicions have been voiced that detainees face torture and beatings while in custody.

At least two people are also believed to have died in custody.

Among them is local NLD party chair, Khin Maung Latt, who was reported dead on the 7th of March after being taken from his house the previous night. Wounds indicate he was likely tortured to death.

Meanwhile, the military has accused Aung San Suu Kye of taking illegal payments of up to $1.3 million in cash and gold. The allegations are made by Yangon’s former Chief Minister, Phyo Mien Thein, who, according to the military, stated that he himself had given her the payments. No further evidence has been provided.

In reaction to the rising death toll in the protests, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement on the 10th of March, expressing strong condemnation of the violent tactics used against protesters. Previously, the Council had failed to agree on statements because of China’s and Russia’s blocking.

Furthermore, UN Special Rapporteur, Thomas Andrews, told the Human Rights Council on Thursday that the evidence shows that military actions most likely amount to “crimes against humanity”. He urged for more sanctions to be imposed.


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