20 March 21, Sittwe
At least 235 people were killed in violent crackdowns by the Tatmadaw and police from the day the military seized power on February 1 to March 19, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which added that 2,330 people were arrested, charged or sentenced over the 47-day period.
“For their part, they [the military junta] will follow the rules and regulations of dictators. We need to be strong and courageous in the face of these challenges,” said an AAPP official. “We, the AAPP, will do our utmost to compile an accurate list of those who have been wrongfully shot and let the international community release them as soon as possible and bring an end to this military dictatorship.”
The AAPP said most of the dead and detained are young people, most of the latter having been charged under Section 505 and Section 188 of the Penal Code.
“Most of those arrestees were charged under Section 505. In Myeik city in Taninthayi Region, the detainees are being prosecuted under other sections. Some are charged under Section 124. Not only young people but also children under the age of 18 are being shot by security forces. These unjust lawsuits and killings need to be stopped as soon as possible,” he said.
Ko Myo Myint Aung, a resident of Thukha Street in Yangon, was arrested by the Tatmadaw on the night of February 28 and his corpse was taken from a 100-bed hospital on the morning of March 19, according to family members.
“One person was injured when the Tatmadaw opened fire on guards at the top of the road at night. He was hit by a bullet while he was assisting the injured man and was taken by the military. I knew my brother was dead when I received a phone call from some people who took the body of an injured man from the hospital,” said Ma The Su Wai, the sister of Ko Myo Myint Aung.
His body was found with a bullet wound under his jaw, she said.
The ambassadors of several Western nations released a joint statement on Friday, condemning security forces’ recent crackdown in the Yangon suburb of Hlaing Tharyar.
“The brutal violence against unarmed civilians by the security forces in Hlaing Tharyar and elsewhere in Myanmar, often under the cover of darkness, is immoral and indefensible. We call on Myanmar’s military to cease all violence against people of Myanmar, release all detainees, lift martial law and the nationwide state of emergency, remove telecommunications restrictions, and restore the democratically elected government,” read the statement.
“We support the right of the people of Myanmar to protest peacefully and support their right to freely access information. Internet blackouts and the suppression of the media will not hide the military’s abhorrent actions.”
The statement was signed by the ambassadors to Myanmar from the Delegation of the EU and European Union member states with presences in the country, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States.
Save the Children, UNESCO and UNICEF also released a joint statement on March 19, calling the security forces’ occupation of schools and university campuses a grave violation of children’s rights and demanding that military and police personnel vacate the occupied premises immediately.