The violent police crackdown on largely peaceful protesters in Myanmar amounts to unnecessary and excessive use of force and must end immediately, Amnesty International said.
Police today forcibly dispersed student protesters who had gathered in Letpadan township in Myanmar’s central Bago Region to protest a new education law. Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that when protesters tried to dismantle a police blockade, police started beating protesters, including some who had fallen to the ground, with batons.
“The violent response by police in Myanmar against the student protesters in Letpadan was completely disproportionate. Police clearly used excessive force against protesters, and also beat helpless people who had fallen to the ground, which amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international law,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“Eyewitness accounts and images of police beating fleeing demonstrators with batons are a stark reminder of just how repressive the climate still is for activism in the country.”