Conflicts & War

Myanmar civilians killed since coup surpass 420 after deadliest day

Bangkok Desk, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- The number of deaths due to military and police brutality against civilians in Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup has risen to 423, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said Sunday.

Local news media outlet Myanmar Now put Saturday’s toll at 114 killed across 44 cities, in the deadliest day unleashed by security forces since the coup.

Although the AAPP recorded at least 90 people killed on Saturday, including six children between the ages of 10 and 16, it said “the actual number of fatalities is likely much higher as the death toll continues to rise.”

A 13-year-old girl was shot dead in her house in Meikhtila by security forces, the AAPP said, adding that they also shot a 16-year-old boy riding a motorcycle in Dawei before dragging him away. He died while detained without medical treatment.

Security forces carted away some of the bodies and did not return them to their families “to erase all evidence of military crimes,” and also attacked reporters broadcasting live, including shooting one in the leg, the organization said.

On Sunday, Myanmar Now reported that overnight a 40-year-old father of four had been shot and burned alive by armed forces in Mandalay.

Despite the deadly crackdowns, protesters took to the streets again on Sunday across the country to protest against the military junta.

The violence unleashed on Saturday drew condemnation from many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Spain, as well as the European Union and the United Nations.

“I am deeply shocked by the killing of dozens of civilians, including children & young people, by security forces in Myanmar today,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement. “The continuing military crackdown is unacceptable and demands a firm, unified & resolute international response.”

Burma Campaign UK slammed Guterres for not taking concrete action.

“Burma Campaign UK is not shocked that yet another UN Secretary General, who has the responsibility to uphold everything the UN stands for, is unwilling to do his (it’s always a his, so far) job, and just makes statements about how deeply shocked or concerned they are instead,” the nonprofit said on Twitter.

The UN’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a statement that “words of condemnation or concern are frankly ringing hollow to the people of Myanmar while the military junta commits mass murder against them.”

“The question now is where the international community stands.”

The military seized power alleging electoral fraud in the elections in November, which were won by the party of the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and which were declared legitimate by international observers.

Since the coup, the military junta has arrested more than 3,000 people, including Suu Kyi, and several members of her cabinet, who have mostly been held incommunicado. EFE-EPA


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