Conflicts & War

Myanmar security forces kill more than 90 protesters in 2 days

Bangkok, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s military rulers have intensified violent repression against anti-coup protesters as security forces have killed at least 94 civilians in the last two days, an advocacy group said Tuesday.

The Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) said Monday the security forces opened fire at protesters in several cities and shot dead at least 20 civilians and wounded more than 50.

Earlier on Sunday, the advocacy group said the security forces killed at least 74 people, including a 15-year-old girl and three other minors.

The Sunday massacre took place during the bloodiest day of the brutal action by the security forces, according to the AAPP.

The group said the number of people shot dead in protests against the Feb.1 military coup against an elected government has risen to 183.

The military has also destroyed and looted private properties, the group alleged.

It said a total of 2,175 people have been arrested by the junta.

The military junta tightened its grip over power on Monday by imposing martial law in parts of the main city Yangon that gives commanders wide powers to root out dissent.

Earlier, martial law was imposed in two other neighborhoods of the city on Sunday, the deadliest day since the coup with huge numbers of casualties, the group said.

“Martial law gives military command over residential areas and civilian homes. It frees them from any semblance of restraint in their brutality towards the peaceful protestors,” the group said.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Monday said in a statement that he was “appalled” by the reported killing at the hands of Myanmar’s military of dozens of protesters calling for the restoration of democracy over the weekend.

“The killing of demonstrators, arbitrary arrests and the reported torture of prisoners violate fundamental human rights and stand in clear defiance of calls by the Security Council for restraint, dialogue and a return to Myanmar’s democratic path,” said the UN chief.

Guterres urged the international community “to work collectively and bilaterally” to help bring an end to the repression in Myanmar.

He called on the military in the Southeast Asian nation to allow a visit by his Special Envoy Christine Schraner “as an important element in calming down the situation and setting the stage for dialog and return to democracy.”

The Myanmar Army on Feb.1 said it took power following accusations of widespread fraud in a Nov.8 election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide.

However, the army claimed that the electoral commission rejected the results and has promised to hold new polls.

The military rulers detained Suu Kyi immediately after the coup.

She was to appear in a court on Monday to face at least four charges related to taking a bribe, having unlicensed imported telephone devices, violating coronavirus restrictions, and intent to raise alarm and cause public unrest.

However, the virtual hearing of the deposed leader was adjourned due to technical issues related to internet connectivity blocked by military rulers after days of deadly protests. EFE-EPA


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