Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 1,000 civilians since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi from power six months ago, an advocacy group said on Wednesday.
The country has been in turmoil since February 1, when the armed forces seized power in a lightning coup, triggering dissent as protesters demanded a return to democracy.
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Security forces responded with bloody crackdowns, using live rounds against civilians. But anti-junta mobs — some of whom have formed self-defence groups — are still taking to the streets daily in flash marches.
Activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners — which verifies the deaths and mass arrests under the regime — said the number of people killed by security forces reached 1,001 on Wednesday.
The actual number is likely far higher, said AAPP’s joint secretary Ko Bo Gyi.
“As long as the military is in power, they will continue to kill youths, professionals like doctors and teachers, men, women and children,” he said.
“They are not only killing our lives but the country’s future and democratic hopes.”
Ko Bo Gyi — whose group has been named an “unlawful” organisation by the junta and is currently in hiding — also accused authorities of “weaponising” Covid-19 as the country weathers a deadly surge.
So far, Myanmar has recorded more than 360,000 cases and 13,623 deaths from Covid.
The health crisis has been aggravated by a lack of formal medical care as many hospitals have been emptied of staff joining nationwide strikes against the junta.