Responding to reports that several people were injured as security forces violently dispersed peaceful protests today in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Research, Emerlynne Gil, said:
“As many feared, the Myanmar authorities are responding to growing peaceful protests with unnecessary and excessive use of force.
“At such an extremely volatile time, authorities must respect and ensure the right to peaceful protests, and not prohibit, restrict, block, disperse or disrupt peaceful protests without compelling justification.
“Ensuring that the protests remain peaceful does not mean subjecting those who participate in them to rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons.
“As protests across Myanmar continue to grow, it is vital that the authorities respect the people’s right to peacefully express their grievances collectively.”
Tens of thousands took to the streets across many cities in Myanmar today, including Nay Pyi Taw and the country’s two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay.
According to BBC Burmese, seven individuals, of which at least one is female, were injured during a peaceful protest in Nay Pyi Taw.
In policing protests, security forces should always respect, protect and ensure the human rights of organizers and participants. Security forces must also ensure the safety and security of journalists, observers and other members of the public observing the protests.