In the aftermath of threats against protesters, Burmese police used water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse acts of opposition to Tuesday’s coup. Witnesses have also reported the use of lethal ammunition, but the information has yet to be officially confirmed.
At least four people were injured. One of them, according to a doctor interviewed by journalists on condition of anonymity, is a woman who was shot in the head and is in serious condition.
Videos posted on social media, the authenticity of which has not yet been proven, show a group of people sheltering under what appears to be a bus stop.
A few meters away, riot police are in formation. You can see the jets of water cannons being used against the protesters and at one point gunshots are heard.
A woman who, according to the publications, is around 20 years old, appears to have been hit and falls suddenly. In the images, she appears wearing a motorcycle helmet. In other articles there are photos of the helmet pierced by a projectile.
“She is not dead yet, she is in the emergency room, but the injury is 100% certain,” said a doctor at a hospital in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw. According to him, imaging tests showed a bullet lodged in the patient’s head.
Still according to reports from doctors in the capital, the other wounded are unlikely to die and it is not yet known whether the injuries were caused by rubber bullets or live ammunition.
Myanmar has a violent history of suppressing protests. During the 1988 uprising, more than 3,000 demonstrators were killed by the country’s security forces in acts against the military regime.
The junta that now rules the country after shutting down the entire civilian government summit – including State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint – has banned gatherings of more than five people in various regions and established a 8 p.m. curfew. At 4 am in Rangoon and Mandalay, the two largest cities in the country.
Since the February 1 military coup, Myanmars has been organizing campaigns of civil disobedience, marked by minor acts and strikes by health professionals, teachers and government officials before the coup.
Over the past weekend, however, the resistance movement gathered strength and took tens of thousands of people to the streets of major cities across the country to demand the return of democracy and the release of political prisoners.
“The bottom line is that we don’t want a coup,” a 24-year-old protester in Rangoon told Reuters news agency. “If we young people don’t go out [às ruas], Who’s gonna do it? “
One of the main demands is the freedom of Suu Kyi, who in practice ruled the country. She was detained on an obscure charge of violating trade standards – allegedly illegally importing six walkie-talkies – and at least 150 other political leaders have been arrested, according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.
Activists are also seeking to abolish the 2008 constitution, drafted under military control, which gave generals veto power in parliament and control of various ministries.
Another factor that appears to have encouraged the population to join the protests is the skepticism with which the pledge from General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the armed forces who now rules the country, was received.
On Monday (8), he said the military junta would form a “true and disciplined democracy”, unlike previous eras which brought years of isolation and poverty – Myanmar lived under a military dictatorship from 1962 to 2011.
“We will have a multiparty election and we will give power to whoever wins,” Hlaing said, reiterating the promise made on the day of the coup that there will be a peaceful transition of power once “fair and free “will be held.
On taking power, the military declared a state of emergency which should last for a year. Hlaing himself, however, said last week that he could stay in power after this period to coordinate a new election.
Myanmar’s last parliamentary elections were held in November last year. The big winner was the National League for Democracy (LND), Suu Kyi’s party.
The legend, who has ruled the country since 2015, won 83% of the vote and won 396 of the 476 seats in parliament in the November elections, but was unable to take charge when the coup was implemented on the day of the inauguration of the new legislative body. The Military-backed Solidarity and Development Union Party won only 33 seats. We are a family business.
The coup has been severely criticized by the international community. Political leaders of different nationalities have called for the restoration of the democratically elected government and the release of all civilian prisoners.
On Tuesday, the Philippine government broke the silence of Southeast Asian countries, which had treated the situation in Myanmar as “an internal matter”, and called for “a complete restoration of the status quo”.
New Zealand also announced on Tuesday the suspension of all political and military contacts with Myanmar. Jacinda Ardern’s government has also said it will ensure that any aid sent to the country does not benefit the military and impose restrictions on the entry of its leaders into New Zealand territory.
Several EU heads of state have also spoken out against the military takeover, as has the United States government, which views Myanmar’s takeover as a coup. In practice, this implies restrictions on the assistance that Americans offer to the country. The United States is also studying sanctions against individuals and entities controlled by the military.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry, for its part, did not mention the military coup or the political prisoners in a note published on the subject and only said that it expects “a rapid return of the country to democratic normality and the preservation of the rule of law. “
CHRONOLOGY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF MYANMAR
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the Constitution of 1947 and establishes a military regime 1974: Beginning of the first post-independence constitution 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international critics 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), in opposition to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is prevented from coming to power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Prize in peace 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and disrespect for 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, retired general, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both houses of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected the first civilian president since 1962 coup and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: in the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the vote and defeats pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders, seizes power with new coup