At least 138 peaceful protesters have been killed in Myanmar since a February 1 coup, according to the UN

At least 138 peaceful protesters have been killed in Myanmar since a February 1 coup, according to the UN
Protesters shout slogans as police arrive during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.Associated Press
  • Security forces in Myanmar have escalated the violence at anti-coup protests in past weeks.
  • The UN announced Monday at least 138 peaceful protesters had been killed since February.
  • The agency said at least nine of those deaths were children.

The death toll is rising in Myanmar a month-and-a-half after the military announced it would be taking over the country for at least a year on February 1.

The United Nations announced Monday at least 138 "peaceful protesters" had been killed since Myanmar's junta took over. Pro-democracy demonstrations have escalated in recent weeks, turning increasingly deadly as security forces have turned to tear gas, stun grenades, and live ammunition in their crackdown against anti-coup protesters.

UN spokeswoman Stephane Dujarric said the new death toll includes 38 people who were killed in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, on Sunday - one of the deadliest days of protests so far - as well as 18 people killed on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Advertisement
The coup has undone years of efforts toward democratizing the once-dictatorship. Protesters are demanding the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be returned to power after the military ousted the democratically-elected administration that was set to begin its new term on February 1.

In a Monday statement, Dujarric said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "appalled by the escalating violence ... at the hands of the country's military." He said Myanmar's killing of demonstrators, arbitrary arrests, and the reported torture of prisoners all violate fundamental human rights.

Guterres urged the international community to work together to help end the oppression and also urged Myanmar's military to allow the secretary-general's special envoy to visit and "calm down" the situation while setting the stage for "a return to democracy."
Advertisement

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener released a statement Sunday condemning the bloodshed and detailing "heartbreaking accounts" of the violence from her contacts on the ground.

"The ongoing brutality, including against medical personnel and destruction of public infrastructure, severely undermines any prospects for peace and stability," she said. According to the UN Children's Fund, an estimated 700 children are among those arbitrarily detained and at least nine children are among those killed. The agency said in a Facebook statement March 11 that many of the arrested are being held without access to legal counsel, a violation of their human rights.
Advertisement
{{}}