At least 8 dead as Myanmar military continues crackdown
Bangkok, Apr 7 (EFE).- Myanmar security forces fired live ammunition Wednesday during demonstrations in opposition to the military junta in the central province of Sagaing, killing at least eight civilians, local media reported.
Among the dead are seven protesters and a passerby who was not participating in the protest in the town of Kale, Myanmar Now news portal reported.
Despite the repression by the junta, which has claimed the lives of at least 580 people since Feb. 1, according to figures from the Myanmar Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, protests continue to defy the military throughout the country.
In addition to Sagaing, hundreds in favor of the civil disobedience movement also took to the streets of Mandalay, the second most populated city in the country.
Coupmaker Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, at the head of the military junta, accused dissidents of trying to “destroy” the Myanmar economy and “interrupt” the operation of hospitals, schools and factories, during a speech published Wednesday by state press “The Global New Light of Myanmar.”
The military has tried to cut off the flow of information about the repression by the authorities by limiting access to the internet, persecuting journalists and photographers, as well as closing all independent newspapers in the country.
A group of protesters, however, has published the daily digital newsletter “The Voice of Spring Daily” since Tuesday, asking users to share it on social networks or print it, to avoid censorship.
For its part, the legal team of the so-called “legitimate government” of Myanmar will meet with UN investigators Wednesday to present 180,000 evidence of the brutal abuses committed by the army since the uprising.
Among the alleged crimes committed by the army are more than 540 extrajudicial killings, including the death of 10 political prisoners while in custody, illegal detentions and torture of detainees.
United Kingdom Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Wednesday during his visit to Indonesia that he supports the countries of Southeast Asia to seek a solution to the crisis, according to counterpart Retno Marsudi.
Both foreign ministers insisted on demanding that the Myanmar Army stop “using force” against civilian protesters and asked them to open up a dialogue to restore “democracy, peace and stability” in the former British colony.
The Army justifies the coup due on an alleged electoral fraud in November’s general elections, in which the party led by the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide during polls considered legitimate by international observers. EFE