Image for post

An official from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has died in custody in Myanmar after being arrested during raids by security forces in Yangon.

On Sunday the body of U Khin Maung Latt was released to his family, who were reportedly told that he had died after fainting.

Photos show a bloodstained cloth around the 58-year-old’s head.

Activists say he was beaten while being detained by police and soldiers, and subjected to a harsh interrogation.

Protests continue against last month’s coup despite a bloody crackdown.

What is happening and why?
The UN says more than 50 people have been killed since the military detained Ms Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s democratically elected leader, on 1 February.

The authorities have exhumed the body of one victim, 19-year-old Kyal Sin, and said she had not been killed by police as she had been shot from behind.

‘Everything will be OK’ teen mourned in Myanmar
In another development, the military rulers asked neighbouring India to return several police officers who had crossed the border seeking refuge after refusing to carry out orders.

How did U Khin Maung Latt die?
He actively campaigned for candidates of Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in recent general elections and was also known for his welfare work, The Irawaddy reports.

He had been “violently beaten and kicked before being taken from his home” at around 22:00 (15:30 GMT) on Saturday, according to witnesses quoted by the news outlet.

On Sunday morning, his family was informed he had died after “fainting” and they collected his body from a military hospital.

U Tun Kyi, from the Former Political Prisoners Society, told AFP news agency: “He was beaten and taken in a raid since last night and it seems he underwent a harsh interrogation.”

On Friday, an NLD local official in a village in Magwe region, U Htway Naing, was reportedly hacked to death by supporters of the military.

In Yangon, police carried out other night-time raids on Saturday.

The UN special rapporteur, Tom Andrews, told the BBC that video from different parts of Myanmar showed security forces firing repeatedly at buildings as they made arrests.

“And you can see them walking down the streets in Yangon, firing up through the windows as people look in horror down on the streets,” he said.

“These are gangs. This is criminal activity. They’re terrorising these neighbourhoods. So there is a compelling reason for the world to act and for the world to act now.”

Where are the latest protests happening?
Security forces fired tear gas on Sunday in the country’s second biggest city, Mandalay, after thousands of protesters turned out.

Demonstrations were also held in half a dozen other cities, Reuters news reports, with police using force against protesters in Yangon, Lashio and Bagan.

In the southern town of Dawei, one protest leader was quoted by Reuters as saying: “They are killing people just like killing birds and chickens. What will we do if we don’t revolt against them? We must revolt.”

Myanmar in profile
Myanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it has been under military rule
Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
In 2017, Myanmar’s army responded to attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”

Crowds gathered in Mandalay on Thursday for the funeral of a 19-year-old woman who was shot dead during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests a day earlier.

Kyal Sin, known as Angel, was wearing a T-shirt with the phrase “Everything will be OK” when she died.

Tributes have flooded in on social media, with many calling her a hero.

Since the 1 February coup, Myanmar has been gripped by mass protests demanding an end to military rule and the release of detained elected leaders.

More than 54 people have been killed by security forces in the protests so far, according to the UN Human Rights Office, although other reports put the figure much higher. Wednesday was the bloodiest day since the coup, with 38 protesters killed in cities and towns across the country.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on security forces to “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters”.

Dozens of countries have now condemned the violence in Myanmar, though this has been largely ignored by the coup leaders.

And Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN, who the military said they had fired after he pleaded for help to restore democracy, called for “the strongest international actions” against the military.

“You see these last 3–4 days how many of our innocent and young lives have been taken away,” Kyaw Moe Tun told the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme in his first interview since he was replaced. “What we want for the people of Myanmar is protection.”

Meanwhile his deputy Tin Maung Naing, who the military appointed in his place, said he had resigned and that Kyaw Moe Tun was still ambassador.

What happened to Angel?
On Thursday in Mandalay, people lined the route of Angel’s funeral procession.

Mourners sang revolutionary songs and chanted anti-coup slogans, Reuters news agency reports.

Images of the teenager wearing her “Everything will be OK” T-shirt at the protests had gone viral.

Aware of the dangers of taking part in the protests, she had written her blood type details on Facebook and requested that her organs be donated in the event of her death.

Myat Thu, who was with her at the protest on Wednesday, said she had kicked open a water pipe so protesters could wash tear gas from their eyes. She had also tried to help him as police opened fire.

“She told me ‘Sit! Bullets will hit you’,” he told Reuters. “She cared for and protected others.”

Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?
He said police hit them with tear gas and then the bullets came.

Myat Thu said Angel, who had proudly voted in elections for the first time last year, was a “happy girl”.

“She loved her family and her family loved her so much too,” he said. “We are not in a war. There is no reason to use live bullets on people.”

People also paid tribute to Angel on social media. One friend wrote on Facebook: “My heart feels so my hurt.”

Another said: “Rest in peace my friend. We will fight this revolution to the end.”

In a video which showed Kyal Sin’s last minutes, she was seen leading a group of young protesters. When tear gas rained down and shooting came from security forces at the other end of the road, all of them looked worried but she shouted: “Are we united?”, and they chanted “United, United”. A family friend later said she was a truly inspirational leader.

Kyal Sin is one of several teenagers who gave up their lives on Wednesday. Gen Z, as they are called, believe their future must not be shaped by a military regime. But the same old army again committed atrocities even in urban areas where people film on their mobile phones.

One protester told me that he had never seen this kind of inhumane cruelty by police and soldiers who are shooting unarmed protesters with live ammunition, many of them in the head. But he insisted they would not be silenced and the military’s barbaric acts made him even more determined.

At Kyal Sin’s funeral, her aunt also vowed: “I feel sad but they must fall soon. Our fight must win.”

Undeterred by Wednesday’s deaths, protesters made their way out on to the streets of Yangon and Mandalay — the country’s two biggest cities — as well as those of other cities and towns.

According to news site Myanmar Now, tens of thousands of people were protesting in the town of Myingyan, where a demonstrator had been shot dead the day before.

Reuters news agency says police opened fire and used tear gas to break up protesters in Yangon and the town of Monywa.

Residents said that five fighter jets had made low passes in formation over Mandalay early on Thursday, in what appeared to be a show of military strength.

More than 1,700 people, including members of parliament and protesters, have been detained since the coup, Ms Bachelet said in a statement. Arrests have been escalating with 29 journalists detained in recent days, she said.

She warned the figures could be much higher due to the large scale of the protests and difficulty in monitoring developments.

On Wednesday, police and soldiers reportedly opened fire with live rounds in several cities and towns with little warning.

Protesters said they used rubber bullets but also live rounds.

UN envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said one video clip showed police beating an unarmed volunteer medic.

Why are people protesting?
Myanmar’s military seized power after overthrowing the government of including Aung San Suu Kyi and declared a state of emergency.

Just days later, the civil disobedience movement began to emerge, with many people refusing to return to work.

The movement quickly started to gain momentum and it was not long before hundreds of thousands of people began taking part in street protests.

A violent crackdown began on the largely peaceful protests last weekend.

The military has not commented on the deaths.