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Actor arrested, 2 Burmese demonstrators shot dead | Voice of America

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Police arrested a famous Burmese actor on Sunday, hours after two people were shot dead as security forces used live and rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and slingshots against people. demonstrators demonstrating against the February 1 coup.

The actor, Lu Min, had participated in protests in Yangon and was one of six celebrities the military said Wednesday were wanted under an anti-incitement law. The military accused Lu Min of encouraging officials to join the protest. If found guilty, he faces a two-year prison sentence.

In a video posted to Lu Mins’ Facebook page, his wife said the police came to their home in Yangon and took him away.

“They forced open the door and took him away and didn’t tell me where they were taking him. I couldn’t stop them. They didn’t tell me,” Khin Sabai Oo said.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun did not respond to repeated attempts by Reuters to contact him by phone for comment.

About 500 police and soldiers gathered on Saturday at a shipyard in Myanmars, Mandalay’s second-largest city, to disperse workers and other protesters, sparking a confrontation lasting several hours.

Security forces dispersed the crowd with gunfire and other forms of force, killing two and injuring 20 others, according to the Irrawaddy news site and an executive from the volunteer emergency services agency Parahita. Darhi, Ko Aung.

Protesters, locals and journalists reportedly fled the area as security forces pursued them, attacking a group of journalists with slingshots and tear gas.

The Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, an activist group, said on Saturday that 569 people had been arrested, charged or sentenced in connection with the coup.

Security forces have become increasingly aggressive against protesters, who have clashed with Myanmar’s security forces since the military arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior civilian government officials almost three weeks ago. The military has declared a one-year state of emergency, citing widespread fraud in the last general election in November, won in a landslide by National League for Democracy Suu Kyis.

A protester gives a three-fingered salute during an anti-coup protest outside the Hledan Center in Yangon, Myanmar on February 21, 2021.

The military claims were rejected by the Myanmars electoral commission.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned the deadly violence. “The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful protesters is unacceptable,” he said on Twitter.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was “deeply concerned” by reports that security forces fired at protesters and continued to detain and harass protesters and ‘other.

“We are on the side of the Burmese people,” Price wrote on Twitter. Myanmar is also known as Burma.

Britain has said it will consider new measures against those implicated in violence against protesters, and France’s Foreign Ministry has called the violence “unacceptable”.

“Shooting at peaceful protesters in Myanmar is beyond pale,” British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a tweet. “We will consider further action, with our international partners, against those who crush democracy and stifle dissent.”

Tens of thousands of protesters have since taken to the streets of Myanmars’ largest towns in defiance of a strict curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than four people, holding up signs with pro-democracy slogans, including many with photos of Suu Kyi. They saluted with three fingers while marching, a sign of resistance against tyranny, as shown by the popular Hunger games movies.

In addition to the protests, government workers and officials are on strike, causing disruption in training services across the country. The military ordered officials to return to work and threatened to take action against them. An increasing number of workers in other sectors, including medical personnel, have left their jobs in recent days.

General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the coup, pledged in a nationally televised speech last week that new elections would be held to bring about what he called “true and disciplined democracy,” but he did not specify when they would take place.

Reuters news service contributed to this report.

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