Myanmar: People vow to continue protests despite knowing they may be killed

People injured during protests against the military coup in Myanmar have vowed to continue demonstrating – even though they know they may die.

On Sunday, police fired on crowds in several places around the country, reportedly killing 18 people, on the bloodiest day since the 1 February coup.

Generals seized power in Myanmar after claiming there was fraud in last November’s election which the party of de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi won by a landslide.

Daily demonstrations are getting increasingly violent as police and troops try to stamp them out.

And the UK’s foreign secretary has said people are showing “huge bravery” against the military regime.

During the protests, one woman shouted: “Yes, I’m afraid but we will fight for our freedom. I can die now but I will never forgive you.”

And an injured demonstrator vowed to return to the front line, saying: “The police shot towards the road. And, you know, the people become very frightened.

“A lot of young people have passed away.”

A man in Myanmar shows injuries to his legs

Some in Myanmar have been showing off their homemade defence kits, including slingshots and swords, they are prepared to use if attacked.

A woman called Lydia showed a kit. The swords are a bit old, she explained.

But she said they were her only protection if military thugs showed up.

On Monday, pro-democracy supporters again marched in several towns and cities in defiance of the crackdown.

Homemade weapons kit included a sword

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Yangon, witnesses said.

Officers later made their way through side streets firing rubber bullets and at least one person was hurt, reports said.

In an evening address on state TV, army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said protest leaders and “instigators” would be punished.

The military has not commented on Sunday’s violence.

It comes as ousted de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court via videolink as she faced two more charges.

One was under a section banning publication of information that may “cause fear or alarm”, the other under a telecoms law stipulating licences for equipment.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described them as “politically-motivated charges” and has called on the generals to release all those “detained arbitrarily” since they seized power.

Mr Raab also told reporters he wanted more countries to stand up to the regime.

“What we need to do is broaden, if you like, the caucus of countries who are willing to have serious conversations with the military regime,” he said.

“I think the first thing we need to see is the end to the brutality against political opponents and the journalists and dissidents.

“But then ultimately what we want to try and see and what we’ve got to press for and secure is a pathway back to democracy. I think that is the only positive future for Myanmar.”

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