JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Police and soldiers opened fire on protesters in the port area of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, on Saturday afternoon Myanmar time. Multiple live rounds were discharged. At least two people were killed and over 40 injured, according to late reports. The dead included a 14-year old boy who was shot in the head. Protestors had gathered in support of transportation workers supporting the Civil Disobedience Movement created to oppose the February 1 military coup that deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Law students reporting for JURIST in Myanmar say that police threw sharp iron spikes into the demonstrating crowd to injure people fleeing. Many arrests were made.
One of our correspondents in Mandalay writes:
There was no confrontation made by the civilians in the incident that happened today in Mandalay.The innocent civilians even tried to mitigate the situation through negotiation. The military and police were brutal. They invaded in to the [nearby residential] wards, and housing. They even shot the ambulances and medics who were trying to help the injured and those in critical condition. This is a total act of brutality.
Rights groups , Western ambassadors in Myanmar and Western foreign ministry officials quickly condemned the use of lethal force by authorities. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss the Myanmar situation and potential sanctions against the military government on Monday.