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Nearly 40 people killed in Myanmar's Protests

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Much has changed since the OP nearly two months ago. More than 700 have died and countless numbers driven from their homes.

As the military cracked down on media working inside the country, an increasing amount of news has been coming from afar. The following video, however, shows what it's like on the ground. The faces of the victims tell us more than can be conveyed by words alone.

From CNN / MSN

Fighting between Myanmar's military and armed ethnic groups is moving so close to the border it can be seen from Thailand. While a leader from the Karen National Liberation Army says their small victories against the junta can help the country-wide push for democracy, it comes at a cost to people living near the border. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.


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From CNN World

'I thought I would die.' Myanmar protesters describe torture they suffered in detention

The 19-year-old's eyes are so swollen he cannot open them properly. His face is marked with big purple welts and bruises. Etched into his shoulders and back are long, dark lacerations that have yet to heal over -- wounds, he said, that were inflicted when Myanmar military officers who had detained him whipped him repeatedly with cable wires.

"I thought I would die," the teenager, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said of his three-day stint in a military detention camp, while showing a photo of his wounds.
He is one of more than 4,400 people detained by Myanmar's security forces since the military seized power in a coup on February 1, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The round-up, part of a systematic and bloody crackdown on any perceived opposition to the takeover, has ensnared politicians, protesters, journalists, striking workers, celebrities, and even children and bystanders.
Many people have been taken in terrifying nighttime raids or abducted off the streets and held in secretive facilities out of contact from their families. Little is known about the conditions they are kept in.
The 19-year-old said he was repeatedly beaten while held in military detention.
But the accounts of those who have been released, as well as from defectors from the military and family members, detail brutal acts of violence and torture.
The teen was traveling back to Yangon from Bago on his moped when he said he was stopped at a military checkpoint on April 9. It was a long drive, and it was already getting late. That day had seen one of the deadliest crackdowns on protesters, with more than 80 killed by security forces in the town, according to AAPP.
Searching his bag and phone, soldiers found images of him with a shield at protests.
The 19-year-old said he was taken to a military compound, where his hands were tied and he was repeatedly beaten by the guards, who used cables, the butts of guns, and glass bottles.
His back shows the scars from being whipped with cable wires, after he was released from military detention.
His back shows the scars from being whipped with cable wires, after he was released from military detention.
"The commander tied my hands from the back and used small scissors to cut my ears, the tip of my nose, my neck and my throat. (He) hit my head with a glass bottle, beat me up, pointed at me with guns but the bullets did not come out. He used the gun to threaten me as soon as I got to their station. Then he let his fellow soldiers beat me up that night," he said.
Continues with photos
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From Channel News Asia

Myanmar's military taking away young men to crush uprising

YANGON: Myanmar’s security forces moved in and the street lamps went black. In house after house, people shut off their lights. Darkness swallowed the block.

Huddled inside her home  in this neighbourhood of Yangon, 19-year-old Shwe dared to peek out her window into the inky night. A flashlight shone back, and a man’s voice ordered her not to look.

Two gunshots rang out. Then a man’s scream: “HELP!” When the military’s trucks finally rolled away, Shwe and her family emerged to look for her 15-year-old brother, worried about frequent abductions by security forces.

“I could feel my blood thumping,” she says. “I had a feeling that he might be taken.”

Across the country, Myanmar’s security forces are arresting and forcibly disappearing thousands of people, especially boys and young men, in a sweeping bid to break the back of a three-month uprising against a military takeover. In most cases, the families of those taken do not know where they are, according to an Associated Press analysis of more than 3,500 arrests since February.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, is aware of around 1,000 cases of children or young people who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, many without access to lawyers or their families. Though it is difficult to get exact data, UNICEF says the majority are boys.

It is a technique the military has long used to instil fear and to crush pro-democracy movements. The boys and young men are taken from homes, businesses and streets, under the cover of night and sometimes in the brightness of day.

Some end up dead. Many are imprisoned and sometimes tortured. Many more are missing.

“We’ve definitely moved into a situation of mass enforced disappearances,” says Matthew Smith, cofounder of the human rights group Fortify Rights, which has collected evidence of detainees being killed in custody. “We’re documenting and seeing widespread and systematic arbitrary arrests.”

Continues at
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From the BBC

What Myanmar's military does not want the world to see

More than 750 people have been killed since the Myanmar military seized power three months ago. Thousands of people have been detained, including elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The borders are closed and the internet effectively blocked, but people are documenting their ongoing resistance to the coup.

In Yangon, a musician and his sister have, for the last two months, been filming for the BBC.

They take us inside their fight.

Continues with video


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From The Irrawaddy

Myanmar People Fleeing Conflict Won’t Be Pushed Back by Thailand


Karen villagers displaced by fighting between the regime's troops and KNU wait on a riverbank to flee Thailand in March. / The Irrawaddy

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha pledged Friday to UN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Mrs. Christine Schraner Burgener, that Thailand will not push back people fleeing from conflict in Myanmar.

Prayut gave the guarantee during the meeting at the Government House with Burgener Friday morning. He also took the opportunity to congratulate Burgener, whom he met previously when she served as the ambassador from Switzerland (2009-2015), and lauded her diplomatic ability, which led her to be tasked with overseeing the situation in Myanmar.

Prayut said that Thailand will do everything possible to ensure that the situation in Myanmar moves in the right direction. On humanitarian assistance, he said that the country has long been providing such assistance to neighboring countries. “We will not push back people fleeing conflicts if they face danger,” he emphasized.

Following the coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1, there were reports of sporadic fighting between various armed ethnic groups based along the Thai-Myanmar borders, which have caused thousands of peoples to flee the areas opposite Mae Sot, Tak province and cross over to the Thai side. According to the Ministry of Defense, most of those who fled Myanmar have returned to their villages because the situation has returned to normal.

Burgener, who has been in Bangkok since April 9, has met with Bangkok-based diplomats and stakeholders to exchange views and learn about the situation in Myanmar. Before she arrived in Bangkok, she urged the UN Security Council on March 31 to consider “potentially significant action” to reverse the course of events as “a bloodbath is imminent.”

On the sideline of the Association of South East Asian Nations Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta at the ASEAN Secretariat, she had the opportunity to meet for one-hour and a half with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chief of the State Administrative Council. She also made another request to visit Myanmar with Min Aung Hlaing.

During the meeting with Burgener, Prayut told the special envoy that Thailand fully supports the five-point consensus agreed at the leaders’ meeting in Jakarta. He also reiterated Thailand’s position of Myanmar’s crisis through the “D4D” principles, which calls for de-escalation of violence, delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance, discharge of political detainees and dialogue participation. These four Ds, he said, would lead Myanmar back to normalcy and sustainable development.

The “D4D” principles were put forward by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai at the ASEAN meeting. Don spoke on behalf of Prayut as his special envoy. At the meeting, he also proposed the setting up “Friends of the Chairs,” which will allow the ASEAN chair to appoint representatives to help out with the challenge facing the bloc.

Thailand shares a 2401 kilometer porous border with Myanmar, which has yet to be demarcated. Currently, there are approximately 100,000 displaced persons from Myanmar living in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. As of the first quarter of this year, Thailand hosts more than 2.3 million migrant workers from Myanmar who have registered with the Ministry of Labor.



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