At least 15 protesters were arrested in Yangon on Wednesday afternoon when regime personnel in civilian clothes broke up a flash mob in Kyimyindaing Township.
The protest in Pan Pin Gyi Street was in support of the civilian National Unity Government and its United Nations representative, U Kyaw Moe Tun.
The security forces were prepared and waiting for them, residents said.
Protesters who escaped said the security forces were in plain clothes.
“They arrived soon after we began the protest and beat us with sticks. Three vehicles suddenly appeared and at least three shots were fired,” said a protester who escaped.
“At least 15 were taken away and we are very concerned for them. We saw them being beaten and shot at in public and anything can happen to them in an interrogation camp,” he said.
Daw Win Win, a Kyimyindaing resident who witnessed the incident, said: “It happened very quickly. I saw the people in plain clothes with sticks and some with guns watching from a distance. They beat the protesters. I ran away because I was scared.”
Ko Min Thurein, an executive member of the East Yangon University Students’ Union, was detained, according to the students union.
Others seized were representatives of the Basic Education Students’ Union, Myanmar Labour Alliance, Myanmar Youth Network and Pyinnya Nan Taw private school.
Five were members of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM), the group said, denouncing the crackdown.
U Nay Min Tun from the Building and Wood Workers Federation of Myanmar and Daw Zuu Zuu Ra Khaing, Daw Yamin Kay Thwe Khaing and U Than Zaw from the Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar were seized, according to the CTUM.
Last December junta forces rammed a vehicle into protesters and bystanders in the same street and arrested at least 12 people, including two journalists.