Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters have taken to the streets across Myanmar despite an escalating crackdown, including overnight raids in the main city of Yangon targeting activists and officials from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
A local campaign manager for the NLD died in custody after being arrested in Yangon on Saturday night, a legislator from the now dissolved parliament said in a Facebook post and the Irrawaddy news website reported. The cause of Khin Maung Latt’s death was not known, but Reuters news agency saw a photograph of his body with a bloodstained cloth around the head.
The protests on Sunday come as state-run media warned legislators involved in the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a group claiming to be the legitimately elected government of Myanmar, that they were committing “high treason” and could be sentenced to death or 22 years jail.
The military has declared the group’s members persona non-grata and threatened those who communicate with them with seven years in jail.
Myanmar was plunged into chaos on February 1 when the military seized power in a coup, alleging fraud in a November election that returned the NLD to power and detaining much of the country’s civilian leadership hours before the country’s new parliament was set to meet for the first time.
The power grab – a decade after the end of 49 years of strict military rule – triggered an uprising that has upended daily life, with hundreds of thousands rallying in the streets and civil servants and others stopping work in protest against the army.
Security forces have cracked down, killing at least 54 people and wounding dozens more.
Police in Myanmar’s ancient former capital, Bagan, opened fire on Sunday, wounding several people, according to witness accounts and videos on social media.
At least five people were reported wounded as police sought to break up the Bagan protest, and photos showed one young man with bloody wounds on his chin and neck, believed to have been caused by a rubber bullet. Bullet casings collected at the scene indicated that live rounds were also fired.
In the town of Lashio in the northern Shan region, police on Sunday fired tear gas and stun grenades, according to a live video on Facebook.