The images ricochet across the planet, as so many do in this dizzying era of film it, upload it, tell it to the world: scenes from a protest-turned-government crackdown, captured at ground level by smartphone users on the streets of Myanmar.
Protesting alone outside an Australian hospital where the son of Myanmar’s attorney general works as a doctor, Burmese electrical engineer Susu San is determined to let the military junta know their children will be hounded wherever they go.
Witnesses reported the sound of gunfire and stun grenades in different parts of the commercial capital Yangon during the night, while state media on Monday said security forces were keeping a presence at hospitals and universities as part of efforts to enforce the law.
The country has been in turmoil since a February 1 coup ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and triggered mass protests against the new military junta.
Police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Soldiers also reinforced police.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the army seized power and detained elected leader Suu Kyi and much of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party leadership on Feb.1, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide.
Witnesses outside Insein Prison in Yangon saw busloads of mostly young people, looking happy with some flashing the three-finger gesture of defiance adopted by the protest movement. State-run TV said a total of 628 were freed.
Street protests were held in the commercial capital Yangon, the central city of Monywa and several other towns, a day after a nationwide silent strike saw businesses shut and people stay at home in protest against the military coup in the Southeast Asian country.
Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who had just turned 20, had been on life support since being taken to hospital on Feb.9, after she was hit by what doctors said was a live bullet at a protest in the capital, Naypyitaw.
A group of saffron-robed monks marched in the vanguard of the protest with workers and students. They flew multicoloured Buddhist flags alongside red banners in the colour of Suu Kyi’s National league for Democracy (NLD), witnesses said.