Five confirmed deaths in Saturday crackdown in Mandalay 

Joint forces from the Myanmar police and military fired on a sit-in protest in Seinpan Ward in Mandalay on March 13. 

Three people were confirmed dead on Saturday evening: Saw Pyae Naing, 21, Win Htay, 56, and Min Min Tun, 36. 

Two more people were added to the list of casualties by Sunday morning: Ye Swe Oo, 29, and Kay Kyi 53. 

Ye Swe Oo’s mother said that he was shot in the chest while trying to rescue injured protesters during the violent crackdown on demonstrators. He died on the way to the hospital. 

Ye Swe Oo’s funeral was held on Sunday afternoon at Aye Yeik Nyein Cemetery in Mandalay. He owned a shoe business and is survived by a five-year-old daughter. 

Kay Kyi was shot in the head during Saturday’s protest. 

For more than six hours on Saturday afternoon, security forces attacked thousands of protesters in Seinpan Ward. Volunteers and residents estimated that the death toll may be higher, but only five deaths had been confirmed and their bodies identified at the time of reporting. 

While the bodies of some slain demonstrators were sent back to their homes by civil society organizations, some were taken by the police and military, leading locals to question just how many corpses the security forces may be hiding. 

Daw Pyone, a 50-year-old woman shot in the head while protecting youth hiding in her home, was forcibly seized by the armed forces while she was being taken in an ambulance to be treated, so her condition could not be confirmed. 

According to People’s Lawyers, pro-bono legal assistance group for arrested protesters, a total of 71 people were arrested in the Saturday crackdown. 

A lawyer from the group told Myanmar Now that no one has been released, yet they have also not been formally remanded to state custody over the weekend, despite being held there.

“No matter what the reason for the arrest is, they can’t be in police custody for more than 24 hours without being remanded by a court order,” the lawyer said, adding, “If this is not done, this is lawless arbitrary arrest.”

More than 80 people had been killed as of Saturday in nationwide protests against the military coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Over 2,100 people have been arrested, it said.

Myanmar’s acting president, Mahn Win Khaing Than, of the parallel civilian government, said it would try to legislate required laws for members of the public to exercise self-defense as the death toll continues to grow.

Addressing the public via Facebook on Saturday night, Mahn Win Khaing Than said that this is the darkest moment of the country, but noted that the dawn is close. 

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