Myanmar forces deliberately killed protesters, human rights group says

BANGKOK – The killing of at least 65 protesters in Myanmar’s largest city on March 14 this year was planned and premeditated, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice, a human watchdog agency said. authority said in a report released Thursday.

Human Rights Watch accused security forces of deliberately encircling and using lethal force on crowds in Yangon’s working-class Hlaing Tharyar neighborhood who were protesting against the army’s seizure of power from the city. democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on 1 February.

The New York-based organization said: “Soldiers and police armed with military assault rifles opened fire on trapped protesters and those trying to assist the wounded. killed at least 65 protesters and bystanders,” the New York-based organization said.

The government, formed by the military, which imposed martial law in the area following the violence, has described protesters as “rioters” who have set fire to garment factories and blocked soldiers. fire fight. Human Right’s Watch said no action is known to have been taken against any member of the security force. No government officials were immediately available for comment.

Human Rights Watch’s Myanmar researcher Manny Maung told The Associated Press that the security forces’ actions “constitute a crime of murder against humanity.”

“Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the command structure, and whoever is responsible for ordering the suppression and carrying out the crackdown will be held accountable,” she said. In her opinion, it would be the military commander of the Yangon region and the city’s police chief.

“It needs to be ensured that such figures are published so that they can be tried and saved in the future,” she said.

Human Rights Watch said it based it on interviews with six witnesses and an analysis of 13 videos and 31 photos of the violence posted on social media.

“We were able to demonstrate, through testimony and digital forensics, in the video posted by the security forces and the images showing the security forces pointing their weapons – assault rifles and firearms. automatically – against civilians, that this was planned and coordinated,” said Manny Maung.

The report refers to a video posted on TikTok by a police officer that shows riot police preparing to attack protesters.

“As they discussed the weapons they would use, one officer said to the others, You will deal with Hlaing Tharyar.” Another reply: “ I will have no mercy on these people,” it said.

In the months immediately following the military takeover, largely peaceful protests across the country were met with increasingly brutal repression by security forces. In response, some protesters began using homemade weapons to defend themselves.

“Some protesters used weapons, such as rocks, cable cars and Molotov cocktails, in response to security forces firing at them, but no security force casualties were reported,” the report said. The report cited witnesses as saying.

Human Rights Watch called on the international community to “respond to the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity taking place in Myanmar by complementing, reinforcing and coordinating international sanctions.” against the leadership of the government and the military.” The United States and other countries have maintained diplomatic and economic sanctions.

Since the military takeover, at least 1,300 protesters and bystanders have been killed, according to a detailed tally kept by the Political Prisoners Support Association, which documents major crackdowns treat.

“The problem is that the violations are still going on,” Manny Maung said. “The point now is to show that whatever happened even nine months ago matters because we can and we will hold these people accountable and we can demonstrate that they did this on purpose.”


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