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Protesters defy crackdown as Suu Kyi party official dies in police custody

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Monks shout slogans during a protest against the coup in Myanmar. Photo: AP

Monks shout slogans during a protest against the coup in Myanmar. Photo: AP

Monks shout slogans during a protest against the coup in Myanmar. Photo: AP

  Thousands of anti-coup demonstrators defied an ongoing military crackdown in Myanmar yesterday after an official from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party died in overnight raids in Yangon.

In the ancient former capital of Bagan, at least five people were wounded as police attempted to break up a protest with live rounds and rubber bullets, according to reports.

One of the biggest protests was in the city of Mandalay, where police fired tear gas to break up a sit-in demonstration involving tens of thousands of people.

In Yangon, the biggest city in the South-east Asian nation, officers fired tear gas and stun grenades on people taking part in at least three protests.

People have taken to the streets daily in many cities and towns since February 1, when the army seized control in a coup and Ms Suu Kyi, the country’s leader since 2015, and members of her elected government were detained and placed under house arrest.

The United Nations human rights office says at least 56 people have been killed in the unrest. More than 1,700 have been detained.

On Saturday night, security forces carried out raids in Yangon against protest leaders and opposition activists.

One of those arrested, Khin Maung Latt, a local campaign manager for Ms Suu Kyi’s ousted National League for Democracy party, died in custody, according to a legislator from the now-dissolved parliament.

Sithu Maung said in a Facebook post that Mr Maung Latt (58) was found dead in a military hospital yesterday morning by residents of his neighbourhood.

“He was beaten and taken in a raid last night and it seems he underwent a harsh interrogation,” Tun Kyi, of the Former Political Prisoners Society, told AFP, adding that his body had been taken to a cemetery.

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The cause of death had not been announced, but Reuters reported that a photograph of his body showed a bloodstained cloth around his head.

Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, said yesterday that Beijing was ready to engage with relevant parties to ease the situation in Myanmar.

Yesterday, several thousand people rallied outside the regional office of the United Nations in Bangkok to call for the global community to act to stop the crisis.

The country’s major trade unions called on members to shut down the economy from today to back the campaign against last month’s coup, raising pressure on the junta.

 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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