18 Deaths Reported in Bloodiest Day of Myanmar Coup Protests 

Security forces in Myanmar fired on protesters on Sunday, killing at least 18 people and leaving more than 30 others injured in the deadliest day of demonstrations since the February 1 military coup, according to the U.N. human rights office.”Throughout the day, in several locations throughout the country, police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force,” said a statement from U.N. human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani.At least 18 people were killed & 30 wounded in #Myanmar today. “We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar & call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protestors,” says spox Ravina Shamdasani 👉https://t.co/nqhVYtXZfvpic.twitter.com/sAvKPwR4F7
— UN Human Rights Asia (@OHCHRAsia) February 28, 2021The statement called on the military to “immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters.”The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, tweeted, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Burma, who have displayed determination and courage in rejecting this military coup,” as she used another name for Myanmar. She also said, “We stand with them as they call for a return to peace, democratic governance, and rule of law.”Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
This handout from Dawei Watch shows spent casings and projectiles after security forces launched a crackdown on protesters taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei, capital of the Tanintharyi Region, Feb. 28, 2021.Police also aggressively sought to break up protests in other cities, including Mandalay and Dawei.Popular protests have been staged across Myanmar on a daily basis since the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the civilian government last month, claiming widespread fraud in last November’s election, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.The junta has declared a one-year state of emergency. Its commander, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has pledged that new elections will be held to bring about a “true and disciplined democracy,” but did not specify when they would take place.Myanmar’s ambassador to the U.N. Kyaw Moe Tun holds up three fingers at the end of his speech to the General Assembly where he pleaded for international action in his country, at the U.N. in New York City, Feb. 26, 2021.The envoy said he represents the NLD, which is “the legitimate and duly elected” government – not the military leaders who seized power. He said the coup was illegal, unconstitutional and “not acceptable in this modern world.” “It is crystal clear that we all do not want to go back to the system that we used to be in before,” Kyaw Moe Tun said of the hundreds of thousands of people who have taken to the streets across Myanmar since the coup.The envoy accused the military of oppressing the people for decades, using “unspeakable, violent methods” to attack ethnic minorities and that “these actions no doubt amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”A riot police officer opens fire on protesters during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 28, 2021.Kyaw Moe Tun said the military continues to act with impunity as it deploys violence against the peaceful protesters demanding a return to civilian rule and democratic norms.Meanwhile, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Myanmar says an Associated Press photographer, Thein Zaw, was arrested “while carrying out his journalistic work” in Yangon Saturday.A statement issued by the FCCM condemned the move and called for the release of the photographer and other detained journalists across the country while urging authorities to ensure the safety and security of those “performing their professional duties covering the ongoing protests in the country.”Some information in this report was provided by Associated Press and Reuters. VOA’s Margaret Besheer contributed to this story. 

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