Responding to the reports that 18 people were killed and many more wounded as police and military forces confronted peaceful protesters across Myanmar, Emerlynne Gil, Deputy Regional Director for Research of Amnesty International said:
“It is shocking and deeply alarming that the police and military responded with lethal force against entirely peaceful protesters, leading to a surge in fatalities yesterday.
“These protesters must be allowed to exercise the right to gather peacefully to express their opinion about the country’s current situation.
“The duty of all law enforcement, whether police and military, is to facilitate and protect peaceful assemblies. They must not harm protesters and must certainly not apply lethal force. Any measure they take to restrict these peaceful assemblies must be legitimate, proportionate, and necessary.
“Amid this rapidly deteriorating situation, the Myanmar security forces must immediately cease the use of unnecessary force against peaceful protesters and release all those arbitrarily arrested.”
According to media reports, 18 protesters were killed on 28 February as security forces used lethal weapons against peaceful protesters in mass assemblies across the country.
Following the military coup on 1 February 2021, people in Myanmar have been staging nationwide demonstrations, which have been overwhelmingly peaceful.
The UN Fact Finding Mission previously called for Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar’s military chief now in charge of the country, and other senior officials to be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.