At least 20 people were killed on Monday in actions by security forces against demonstrators protesting against the military coup d’état of 1 February in Burma.
Five of the victims died during the demonstrations in Mandalay, while three died during the night and in the early hours of the morning in Rangoon, the economic capital of the country, and two more died in the afternoon in Rangoon, according to the newspaper Frontier.
In Mandalay, some 50 people have also been injured by police intervention against peaceful demonstrators, according to figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma (AAPP). The dead are three men and two women shot with live ammunition in the Maha Aung Myay neighbourhood between the city centre and the Ayeyarwady River, reports Frontier.
Two other civilians were killed in Aunglan town, Magwe region, where six people were also wounded, and another fatality was reported in Aungpan, Shan state.
In Bago region, two civilians have been killed, including a motorbike driver who refused to stop when asked to do so by security forces, who shot him dead.
Three more people have been killed and ten injured as a result of police firing on demonstrators gathered to protest against the dictatorship and called by teachers, health workers, students and monks in Rangoon. Two other protesters were killed during the crackdown on the afternoon demonstrations.
Protests continue despite Sunday’s announcement that martial law would be imposed in several Rangoon neighbourhoods after Sunday’s serious riots in which at least 38 people were killed, according to the AAPP, although the Myanmar Now website put the death toll at 59, citing hospital sources.
The country woke up to internet outages across much of Burma on Monday, while in other areas, such as Rangoon, the connection was intermittent. Internet outages by the military authorities are common at night, but this is the first time they have been carried out during the day.
These figures come after Sunday became the most violent day since the coup, with 74 people killed, as reported by the AAPP.
At least 183 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests against the coup and more than 2,175 people have been detained, according to a report published on Sunday by the AAPP. Among the detainees is the country’s democratically elected ‘de facto leader’ Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now in detention. A court hearing against Suu Kyi was scheduled for Monday but has been suspended due to the Internet outage.
Figures released by the AAPP indicate that around 100 protesters have been arrested across the country on Monday, although officially they have only received arrest documents for 19 people.
Meanwhile, the UN special envoy for Burma, Christine Schraner Burgener, has called for support for the pro-democracy demonstrations and revealed that she had received “disheartening accounts of killings and ill-treatment of protesters and torture of detainees over the weekend”. “The brutality, including against medical personnel and the destruction of public infrastructure, seriously affects the prospects for peace and stability,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, Tom Andrews, tweeted that he was “devastated and outraged by the news of the largest number of protesters killed by Burmese security forces in a single day”. “The coup leaders should not be in power, but behind bars. Their monetary support and supply of arms must stop immediately. I appeal to the members of the UN and heed my call to act,” he urged.