Bloodiest Day in Myanmar After Coup: At Least 38 Protesters Dead

As per reports, the death toll is estimated to have risen to at least 126 people since the 1 Feb military coup. 

Published
World
2 min read
An anti-coup protestor raises his hand with clenched fist in front of a crowd during a candlelight night rally in Yangon, Myanmar on Sunday, 14 March.
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In the industrial suburb of Hlaingtharyar, in the western part of Yangon in Myanmar, security forces killed at least 22 people after Chinese-owned factories were set ablaze on Sunday, 14 March.

Further, martial law was imposed in Hlaingtharyar and other districts of Yangon and mobile data was blocked across the country.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) told Reuters, further 16 people were killed in other places making it the bloodiest day since the military coup started.

Since the 1 February military coup against the elected government leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reports and videos of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture of prisoners have been circulating in the media.

The AAPP estimates the death toll to have risen to at least 126 people. Over a couple thousand pro-democracy protestors were detained on Saturday, 300 of whom have since been released.

‘Urge Myanmar to Take Effective Measures’: China on Arson Attacks

After the arson attacks on Chinese-financed factories, China’s embassy described the situation as “very tense.” However, they did not comment on the killings taking place on a daily basis.

The statement said, "China urges Myanmar to take further effective measures to stop all acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law and ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar."

Protestors suspect that the military is being supported by China, which is why there has been a growing anti-China sentiment since the coup, the BBC reported.

Background

Myanmar has seen several ‘bloodiest’ days so far, and the situation continues to grow bleak.

Research by Amnesty International revealed that the military Junta has been using battlefield weapons against protestors across the country. Analysis of over 50 videos by Amnesty’s Crisis Evidence Lab shows indiscriminate use of semi-automatic rifles, snipers, and sub-machine guns.

For much of Myanmar’s independent history, it has remained under military rule failing to see peaceful transition of power or having its election results marked as “null and void”.

However, free elections were held in 2015, following relaxation of restrictions in 2010, with the installation of Suu Kyi’s government in 2016.

In 2017, Myanmar’s army cracked down on Rohingya Muslims, following militant attacks on the police in Rakhine State. Their crackdown was later described by the UN, a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing," confirming their prevailing authority in the politics of the state.

Following the landslide victory by the National League for Democracy and Suu Kyi in November 2020, the military alleged fraud as military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party performed poorly.

The coup was also attributed to the failure of government to postpone the elections, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

(With inputs from BBC, Reuters and Amnesty International)

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