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Pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar don’t relent in face of deadly crackdown

2 min read
Myanmar

Photo courtesy: Twitter/ @maksimbenenson

An analysis by The Associated Press and the Human Rights Center Investigations Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, looked at cases where bodies of those targeted indiscriminately by police and the military in Myanmar are being used as tools of terror.

The findings are based on more than 2,000 tweets and online images, in addition to interviews with family members, witness accounts, and local media reports.

The AP and HRC Lab identified more than 130 instances where security forces appeared to be using corpses and the bodies of the wounded to create anxiety, uncertainty, and strike fear in the civilian population.

The incident lasted just over a minute and was captured on a CCTV camera. It is part of a growing trove of photos and videos shared on social media that”s helping expose a brutal crackdown carried out by the junta since the military”s Feb. 1 takeover of the Southeast Asian nation.

An analysis by The Associated Press and the Human Rights Center Investigations Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, looked at cases where bodies of those targeted indiscriminately by police and the military are being used as tools of terror.

The findings are based on more than 2,000 tweets and online images, in addition to interviews with family members, witness accounts, and local media reports.

Over two-thirds of those cases analyzed were confirmed or categorized as having moderate or high credibility, and often involved tracking down the original source of the content or interviewing observers.

Since the military takeover, more than 825 people have been killed — well over two times the government tally — according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a watchdog organization that monitors arrests and deaths. The junta did not respond to written questions submitted by AP.

The HRC Lab examined hours of footage posted online over a two-month period showing dead bodies being snatched off the streets and dragged like sacks of rice before being thrown into vehicles and driven to unknown destinations. Some people have been disappeared or arrested one day and returned dead the next, their corpses mutilated with signs of torture, witnesses confirmed to AP.

Autopsies have been carried out without the permission of families. And some death certificates blame heart attacks or falls after violent attacks, contradicting witness accounts and images captured by protesters, journalists, or residents, including some who have been stealthily recording incidents with mobile phones through windows or from rooftops.

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