Protesters were in Myanmar streets in several cities again Saturday and security forces responded, firing live rounds into the crowds, killing at least 11 demonstrators, according to reports.
Eight deaths in Mandalay were confirmed by VOA’s Burmese Service, which cited an emergency medical team worker. One person was killed in the central town of Pyay and two others in Yangon, according to domestic media reports.
Also Saturday, the acting head of the country’s parallel civilian government, whom deposed legislators appointed after the February 1 military coup, promised a “revolution” to oust the junta.
Mahn Win Khaing, who was in hiding along with most other top officials from the ruling National League for Democracy party, addressed the public for the first time, announcing on Facebook that the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) planned to establish a federal democracy.
He told supporters the CRPH would try to “legislate the required laws so that the people have the right to defend themselves,” and he added “this revolution is the chance we can put our efforts together.”
The military government did not immediately respond to Mahn Win Khaing’s remarks, but it has declared the CRPH, formed by elected members of the ousted parliament on February 5, to be illegal. The junta also has declared the CRPH a terrorist organization and said anyone involved with it could face treason charges, which are punishable by death.
Amid the continued protests and violence, the U.N. human rights investigator on Myanmar has called for the international community to take a united stand against the military junta that took power in the coup.
“It is heartbreaking to bear witness to the terror and lawlessness by those who have illegally grabbed power in Myanmar,” which is also known as Burma, Thomas Andrews told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday.
He added that the international community “must strip away the junta’s sense of impunity.”
A Myanmar official told the council that authorities in the country were using “utmost restraint” toward the protesters.
Andrews called that claim “absurd.” Since Myanmar’s military seized power, he said, security forces have killed at least 70 people and arbitrarily arrested more than 2,000.
Andrews also said there was video evidence of security forces viciously beating protesters, destroying property, looting shops and firing indiscriminately into people’s homes, and that the junta had been systematically destroying legal protections and crushing freedom of expression and assembly.
Last month, the U.S. announced sanctions on the Burmese military regime. Earlier this week, the U.S. government placed sanctions on the two adult children of Burmese military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
The United States has called for the immediate release of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ousted President Win Myint, and protesters, journalists and human rights activists who have been unjustly detained since the takeover.