4 dead as Myanmar anti-coup protests continue

Saturday, March 13

Protesters took to Myanmar streets again Saturday and security forces responded, firing live rounds into the crowds.  At least four demonstrators died in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, and in the central town of Pyay.  
Amid the continued protests and violence in Myanmar, the United Nations human rights investigator on Myanmar has called for the international community to take a united stand against the military junta that took power in a February 1 coup.
“It is heartbreaking to bear witness to the terror and lawlessness by those who have illegally grabbed power in Myanmar,” which is also known as Burma, Thomas Andrews told the U.N. Human Rights Council Friday.
He added that the international community “must strip away the junta’s sense of impunity.”
A Myanmar official told the council that authorities in the country were using “utmost restraint” toward the protesters.
Andrews called that claim “absurd.”
Since Myanmar’s military seized power from the elected government, he said, security forces have killed at least 70 people and arbitrarily arrested more than 2,000.
Andrews also said there is video evidence of security forces viciously beating protestors, destroying property, looting shops, and firing indiscriminately into people’s homes, and that the junta has been systematically destroying legal protections and crushing freedom of expression and assembly.
Last month, the U.S. announced sanctions on the Burmese military regime.
Earlier this week, the U.S. government placed sanctions on the two adult children of Burmese military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
The United States has called for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy party, ousted President Win Myint, and protesters, journalists and human rights activists who have been unjustly detained since the takeover.