Myanmar Regime Detains Increasing Numbers and Steps Up Violence

By The Irrawaddy 8 March 2021

Yangon – More than 200 anti-regime protesters, including members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), were arrested by the security forces on Sunday during an intensified crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar.

The military regime has stepped up violence across the country, using tear gas, rubber and live bullets, deadly air-guns firing lead pellets and sound grenades.

On Sunday night, police and soldiers used hundreds of the explosives, that are used to simulate a grenade in training, and fired warning shots in several Yangon townships.

Some Yangon homes were hit by bullets and numerous vehicle windows were smashed by the security forces.

In Hlaing Township, a prominent NLD Muslim member, U Peter, the father of young NLD lawmaker Sithu Maung, who won a seat in the Nov. 8 general election, was detained.

The lawmaker, who is a member of the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) – which represents elected MPs and supports the anti-regime demonstrations – is now in hiding and faces an arrest warrant.

Sithu Maung posted on Facebook on Monday that his father was beaten by the security forces during the arrest.

U Khin Maung Latt, 58, an NLD ward chairman from Pabedan Township and a campaign manager for Sithu Maung during the November election, was arrested and tortured to death on Saturday night.

Security forces cracked down on anti-regime demonstrations led by thousands of university students in Mandalay on Sunday. Around 100 protesters were detained and several people were injured.

A video on social media shows a man dressed as a medic being kicked and beaten severely by police until he is unconscious.

The man was also dragged away on the ground by the police.

Another video shows a Mandalay protester being severely beaten by the police with sticks while he lies in a drain.

A Mandalay University student union member trying to secure the release of detained students told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the security forces are using tear gas, sound grenades, rubber and live bullets and batons without giving warnings to protesters to disperse.

The student union has compiled a list of 73 people who have been reported missing by their families during the Sunday crackdown.

“The violent crackdowns are unacceptable,” the student said.

The security forces also arrested 130 anti-regime protesters in Yangon’s Shwepyithar Township on Sunday, according to a legal group assisting those detained.

Some injured protesters are being taken to military hospitals, the lawyer told The Irrawaddy.

During a crackdown against a pro-democracy demonstration in Bagan, one of Myanmar’s Unesco World Heritage Sites, on Sunday about six protesters were detained and several were injured.

A male protester was injured in his neck and chin by a live round.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners on Sunday, said 1,790 people, including elected leaders, election commissioners, journalists, writers, actors and striking civil servants, have been detained.

It said 1,472 of them are still in detention or have faced charges.

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