UN calls for release of ‘trapped’ Myanmar protesters

UN calls for release of 'trapped' Myanmar protesters
More than 200 people are thought to be trapped in the Sanchaung district. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: The United Nations has appealed to the Myanmar military for the safe release of hundreds of protesters believed to be trapped inside an apartment block.

Security forces are thought to have cornered about 200 people in a district of Yangon since Monday.

The UN Human Rights Office said the group of people had been protesting peacefully and should be allowed to leave.

Mass protests have been seen across Myanmar since the country’s military seized power on 1 February.

More than 54 people have been killed by security forces so far in demonstrations.

The group were blocked from leaving a four-street area in the Sanchaung area of the city on Monday, according to the UN.

Police have been raiding and searching houses in the area looking for people who are from outside the district. Local news service and residents claimed on Facebook that at least 20 people have been arrested in the raids.

Explosions have been heard from the area, which is believed to be the sound of stun grenades used by the military.

Antonio Guterres, the UN cheif, was calling for “maximum restraint” and the “safe release of all without violence or arrests”, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

He said: “Many of those trapped are women who were peacefully marching in commemoration of International Women’s Day.”

The British Embassy in Myanmar also called for the protesters to be freed.

Huge numbers of people gathered on the streets of Yangon,, defying a curfew, in an attempt to distract security forces. They were heard chanting “Free the students in Sanchaung”.

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