Violent police charges in Burma against anti-union demonstrations

Burma Police (Myanmar) charged this Saturday with violence and fired tear gas canisters against peaceful demonstrations, in Rangoon and other cities, in rejection of the military junta that took power on February 1.

The authorities they brutally beat numerous unarmed people and arrested an unknown number, including journalists and photographers who cover the protests that have been going on for weeks throughout the country, although some were later released. The police also used several rounds of tear gas, testifies an Efe correspondent on the ground, as well as rubber bullets and stun grenades in order to disperse the crowd gathered in various parts of Rangoon, the former Burmese capital and the most populated city.

From early in the morning this Saturday security forces had blocked several streets in the old capital in a vain attempt to prevent protests. With furniture, containers, planks and part of the urban furniture, some protesters improvised small barricades to stop police charges and thus buy time in the face of repression by the authorities.

In Mandalay, a city where the military junta also faces large protests, the southern city of Dawei or the central Monywa, among other towns, local media report that there was also a strong police action and dozens of arrests.

Repression on the rise

The onslaught of the authorities against the civil disobedience movement that has been protesting for weeks against the military government, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, follows the increased tension and police violence recorded in recent days, which includes the use of live ammunition by the uniformed.

Several images taken this Saturday by local media show the Police intimidation tactics, defiantly surrounding a pregnant woman or pointing a shotgun at a short distance at a volunteer from the emergency health services.

At least eight people have died as a result of the violence unleashed after the coup, three of them by police shots, according to data up to Friday from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP) in Burma, which also indicates that since the coup, 771 have been arrested, including 82 already released. Among those still detained is the deposed government leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Board threats

The civil dissidence movement, which has been joined by a large number of officials -especially doctors- who paralyze part of the Administration, claims that the Army return power to the people and recognize elected leaders during the November elections, the results of which were annulled this Friday by the Electoral Commission recently appointed by the military government.

The Ministry of Information, now in the hands of the military, threatened the day before with jail terms of up to seven years to picket lines who call for a general strike and whom the board accuses of threatening workers and inciting riots.

The overthrown government asks the UN for action

During a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday to address the crisis in Burma, Burmese Ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, appointed by the overthrown government, called on countries strong measures to end the military government and stop the violence by the uniformed. “We need the strongest possible action from the international community to immediately stop the military coup, stop the oppression of innocents, return power to the people and restore democracy“said the Burmese ambassador in his speech insisting on greater international pressure on the military.

The Army justified the seizure of power by an alleged electoral fraud in the November elections, where international observers did not detect any rigging, in which the National League for Democracy, the party led by Suu Kyi, destroyed, as it did in 2015.

Despite the holding of elections and the process started in 2011 in Burma towards a “disciplined democracy”As the Army calls it – which ruled the country with an iron fist from 1962 to 2011 – the military command still maintained broad control over the political and economic aspects of the country.

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