Conflicts & War

At least 30 dead a month on from Myanmar coup

Yangon, Myanmar, Mar 1 (efe-epa).- At least 30 people have died as a result of the violence unleashed after the military coup in Myanmar, which marks a month Monday, according to the Association for the Assistance of Prisoners Politicians.

According to the association’s data, about 20 people lost their lives Sunday alone during the violent repression by security forces, who fired live ammunition at the unarmed protesters, among whom about 200 were injured.

The deaths were recorded in Yangon, Mandalay, Dawei, Bago, Magwe, Pakokku and Kyaukse, the association said, adding that fatalities and injuries could increase if violent police and army interventions continue.

The agency did not specify when the remaining 10 deaths occurred, although at least three were previously attributed to direct shots fired by police against protesters in Mandalay and Naypyidaw, on Feb. 20 and Feb. 9, respectively.

Since the coup, at least 1,132 people have been arrested, including 299 already freed, the association said, which still was still verifying data from recent days, when authorities have exercised greater violence against peaceful protests.

“We believe that approximately 1,000 people were detained across Myanmar on Sunday,” the association said.

Tom Andrews, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, called for more severe action against the Myanmar Army command, with specific and coordinated sanctions against those responsible for the coup. He also called for action against the military’s businesses, in addition to a global embargo on weapons against the country.

“The leaders of this military junta have shown their capacity for brutality. The message they sent Sunday is clear: they are going to continue their assault on the Myanmar people (…) People have a well-founded fear of how brutal this regime will be. in the next few days, but they are even more afraid, for themselves and their children, of life under authoritarian rule,” Andrews said.

The army justified the seizure of power on alleged electoral fraud in November’s general elections, in which international observers did not detect any rigging and in which the National League for Democracy, the party led by deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory.

Despite holding elections and the process started in 2011 in Myanmar towards a “disciplined democracy,” as the army calls it – which ruled the country from 1962 to 2011 – the military command still maintained, before the Feb. 1 coup, a broad control over the political and economic aspects of the country. EFE-EPA


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