A civil society organization says Myanmar’s security forces have killed 564 protesters and detained thousands of others since the military junta staged a coup in the Southeast Asian country in February.
The local advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) made the announcement in a written statement on Monday, saying the fatalities also included seven deaths that took place across Myanmar a day earlier as part of the junta’s heavy-handed crackdown on anti-coup protesters.
“As of April 4, a total of 2,667 people are under detention, while 38 of them are sentenced. As many as 425 have been issued arrest warrants,” the rights group added.
Security forces in Myanmar continue their violent suppression of peaceful protesters that have been taking to the streets across the country to demonstrate against the junta that seized power in the February 1 coup.
Central to the widespread protest movement, which is called by some a “spring revolution,” have been street marches, a civil disobedience campaign of strikes, and acts of rebellion organized via social media.
In addition to the crackdown on the streets, the junta has sought to suppress the campaign by shutting down wireless broadband and mobile data services.
Amid a night of martial law, the office of a junta-appointed local administrator was set alight on Sunday in Sanchaung township in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, with the junta placing the blame on the anti-coup protesters.
“Whenever these incidents happen, the junta declares falsely that it was the protesters who committed these crimes, to spread propaganda,” the AAPP underlined.
In Bhamaw town of the northern state of Kachin, Myanmar’s security forces raided a residential area and opened fire, which led to the injury of six people.
On Monday, demonstrators, holding placards of Myanmar’s detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and signs that called for international intervention, marched through the second-biggest city Mandalay.
The coup came against the backdrop of election fraud allegations against Suu Kyi, who faces several criminal charges, including violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event in 2020.
The international community has repeatedly called for the restoration of civilian rule and her release. She has been under house arrest since early February.