RR Report – Myanmar security forces fired on pro-democracy demonstrators on Monday, witnesses said, a day after dozens of protesters were killed and attackers torched several Chinese-financed factories in the city of Yangon.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, at least 44 protesters were killed on Sunday as security forces cracked down on anti-coup demonstrations, taking the total death toll to more than 120.
Myanmar’s junta late Sunday imposed martial law in two densely populated Yangon townships after one of the deadliest days since the Feb.1 coup.
The junta has repeatedly justified its power grab by alleging widespread electoral fraud in November’s elections, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide.
State-run media announced late Sunday that Yangon’s massive Hlaing Tharyar township and the neighbouring Shwepyitha township will be placed under martial law.
The vast and impoverished townships are known as factory hubs and home to garment factories.
The junta “gives administrative and judicial martial law power to the Yangon regional commander… to perform security, maintain the rule of law and tranquility more effectively,” said an announcer on state-run TV.
Soldiers and police have in recent weeks been staging near-daily crackdowns against demonstrators calling for a return to democracy — deploying tear gas and firing rubber bullets and live rounds to quell anti-coup protests.
In Hlaing Tharyar township police and soldiers clashed violently with protesters wielding sticks and knives who hid behind makeshift barricades.
Separately, the United Nations’ envoy for Myanmar on Sunday strongly condemned “continuing bloodshed” after many protesters were killed in one of the deadliest days since the country’s Feb.1 coup.
“The international community, including regional actors, must come together in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations,” Christine Schraner Burgener said in a statement.