Conflicts & War

Thousands protest in Myanmar following police killings

Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Thousands took to the streets Sunday in Mandalay, where two protesters were killed by police a day earlier during a protest against the military junta that took power through a coup earlier this month.

Carrying banners rejecting the military regime, protesters took to some of the central streets of the city, protesting the coup and police violence that cost the lives of two people Saturday and left at least six wounded from gunshots.

Both deaths had come to support striking shipyard workers for joining the protest movement and whom the authorities wanted to force to work.

Witnesses said the police suppressed Saturday’s protest with live ammunition and rubber bullets, tear gas bombs, and metal projectiles made of screws and launched with slingshots.

Counting the two from Saturday, there are already three deaths due to the police crackdown at the protests. The first fatality was confirmed Friday following the death of Mya Thwe Thwe Khine, a 20-year-old girl who died of a gunshot to the head during a protest, and whose funeral was held Sunday in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The image of the young woman, who spent 10 days in critical condition before passing, has become a symbol of the protests, which remain vigorous in the country’s main cities despite the violence and high number of arrests (569 from the beginning of the coup according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.)

One of the latest detainees is Myanmar actor Lu Min, arrested last night for his support of the protests against the coup, as his wife confirmed on Facebook.

Khin Sabai Oo said crying in a video posted on her husband’s official Facebook profile that several policemen broke into her home in Yangon and took him away, without specifying where.

Mu Lin, who has taken part in several protests in Rangoon, was one of six celebrities wanted by the Army since Wednesday for breaking the anti-incitement law, encouraging officials to participate in demonstrations, and may face a penalty of up to two years in prison.

The Army justified seizing power because of alleged fraud in November’s general elections, in which the National League for Democracy, the party led by deposed leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015. EFE-EPA


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