- Social unrest in Myanmar continues. A 7-year-old girl was killed as soldiers raided homes. Days later, the ruling military junta freed hundreds of detained protesters, including a journalist.
- Police in Bristol, UK, stoked anger after breaking up a protest against a new policing bill.
- In Miami Beach, US, multiple police agencies were called in to break up crowds of unmasked partygoers.
Social unrest in Myanmar continued with the ruling military junta tightening its control but also making some conciliatory moves by releasing hundreds of imprisoned demonstrators. The release came just days after a 7-year-old girl was reportedly killed by gunfire from the military.
State-run television said 628 people were freed, ABC News reported. On Wednesday, Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw was also released. The ruling junta has detained thousands since taking power in a coup on 1 February.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an independent organization, says at least 275 people have been killed since the current unrest started and thousands have been arrested. The AAPP says more than 2,000 people remain in custody, generally without any charges.
Social unrest in Myanmar continued: 7-year-old killed
Local media reported that on 23 March, a 7-year-old girl was killed in the city of Mandalay, the second biggest in the country, in a shooting after raids by soldiers.
Farhan Haq, a United Nations spokesman, said the body is “extremely disturbed over the killing by security forces of a 7-year-old child in her home.” The UN also called for the release of everyone that has been detained, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
On 24 March, protesters took an unusual step to protesting: a silence strike. They asked people to stay home and for businesses to shut down.
The UN passed a resolution on Myanmar on 24 March, which the country’s Deputy Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kyaw Myo Htut dismissed.
Dawbon, Yangon: Happening Now!
• Shooting by Terrorists (#Myanmar security forces)#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Mar25Coup #MilkTeaAlliance pic.twitter.com/pcFgFfNfBF
— Ro Nay San Lwin (@nslwin) March 25, 2021
Hong Kong: Pro-democracy activist charged
A pro-democracy activist was charged on 24 March with “conspiracy to commit collusion” with a foreign country to endanger national security, Reuters reported. The new charges came just two days after he was released from a prison in Mainland China.
Andy Li Yu-hin had been among a group of 11 people detained after trying to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan by boat in August 2020. There were also plans to charge Li with other offences, one of which was possession of ammunition without a licence – used tear gas cannisters.
Colombia: A spike in violence
Colombia suffered from a renewed spike in violence through 2020, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In a 13-page report released on 24 March, the ICRC said Colombia continues to face at least five conflicts with armed groups. The group reported more disappearances, killings and sexual assaults as well as more people killed or injured by explosive devices and more attacks on healthcare workers and facilities.
Brazil: Pots and pans
Protesters armed with pots and pans, a common approach to protesting in Latin America, hit the streets of Brazil on 23 March to voice their displeasure with the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro.
The protests erupted as the country hit its highest-ever death toll, Reuters reported.
United States: Partying crowds
Police in Miami Beach arrested more than 1,000 people and called for help from state authorities after crowds descended into the city in defiance of COVID-19 rules. Fighting broke out in the streets and properties were defaced or destroyed. People refused to wear face masks.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were called in to control the crowds, the Associated Press reported. Miami Beach officials imposed a curfew of 8 pm on 20 March.
Most of the people arrested were from out of state.
United Kingdom: Protesting the police
Police in Bristol, in the southwest of England, arrested 14 protesters at a rally to denounce a policing bill that would restrict peaceful demonstrations.
The rally on 23 March followed clashes on 21 March that resulted in police officers being wounded and condemnations from officials, the New York Times reported. Police broke up that protest after citing COVID-19 restrictions.
Videos shared online showed protesters facing off police in full riot gear.
Specialist officers in Bristol attempt to disperse protesters, two days after a demonstration turned violent in the city. #KillTheBill #BristolProtests pic.twitter.com/urvNJBWU6o
— ITV News West Country (@itvwestcountry) March 23, 2021
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