At least 18 killed by security forces during Myanmar protests

Grant Boone
March 3, 2021

Myanmar police fired on protesters around the country on Sunday in the bloodiest day of weeks of demonstrations against a military coup and at least 18 people were killed, the United Nations human rights office said.

Police had initially deployed tear gas and rubber bullets before doubling back with live rounds, he added. Greater numbers of soldiers also joined police.

Videos shared via social media show the security forces attacking the protesters and arresting scores of people. One man died after being brought to a hospital with a bullet in the chest, said a doctor who asked not to be identified.

The remark comes after the UN's Human Rights Office reported that at least 18 people had been killed and over 30 wounded.

RELEASE HER Protesters hold signs calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday, February 14, 2021.

Protests against the coup continue in Myanmar. Police also opened fire in Dawei in the south, killing three and wounding several, politician Kyaw Min Htike said.

In addition to using force on protesters, the military detained at least 85 medical personnel and students and seven journalists Sunday, the United Nations reported.

The military has not commented on Sunday's violence.

Zaw told this writer he had seen his client for the first time since a military coup exactly one month ago, after which the country has plunged into huge and ceaseless protests.

The teachers tried to assemble early, but police threw stun grenades and charged in to break up the protest. A medics' body called Whitecoat Alliance told the news agency that 50 medical staff members had been arrested.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday she hoped to use Washington's presidency of the United Nations Security Council in March to push for more "intense discussions" on Myanmar.

Myanmar fires ambassador to UN over incendiary comments

"I was crying a little bit, but [the gas] didn't affect me too badly because I was far away", he said, adding that he and his friends were protesting "for freedom" and for the future of his career. He said the army is also investigating financial abuse by the civilian government.

Defiance of the coup has emerged not just on the streets but more broadly in the civil service, municipal administration, the judiciary, the education and health sectors and the media.

"The Myanmar security forces' clear escalation in use of lethal force in multiple towns and cities ... is outrageous and unacceptable", Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. About 1,000 people are believed to have been detained Sunday.

More than 200 medical professionals and students were among those arrested on Sunday but have since been released, according to the UN.

"It's better for them to have a stable neighbour than an unstable one", Sa Sa said.

"It's obvious they're trying to instill fear in us by making us run and hide", she said. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. According to reports on Saturday, Kyaw Moe Tun was sacked from his position for allegedly betraying the country and abusing his power as ambassador. "I made a decision to fight back as long as I can", he told Reuters in NY.

China has not condemned the coup and emphasized other countries should not interfere in Myanmar's internal affairs, raising the suspicion that Beijing may be propping up the junta to boost its clout in the country as a major arms supplier, aid donor and trading partner.

The junta, however, has promised to hold a new election but not set a date.

The initial efforts led by Indonesia to resolve the crisis have raised suspicion among Myanmar democracy activists who fear dealing with the junta would confer legitimacy on it and its bid to scrap the November election that Suu Kyi won.

Suu Kyi had already been charged with two other offenses - possession of walkie-talkies that had been imported without being registered, and violating an order issued under the Natural Disaster Management Law limiting public gatherings in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The veteran human rights lawyer said the hearing would focus on case management and the timeline for the trial.

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