Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burmese (Myanmar) police have beaten up to 700 protesters with batons

AFP reported that only monks were allowed to enter the pagoda, and Reuters has quoted witnesses as saying that tear gas was used to disperse the monks.

Some monks were taken away by police in trucks. This is the first time that Burmese security forces have used violence against the protests, which are now in their ninth day.

Burmese authorities have imposed a curfew from dusk until dawn, and have also banned public gatherings of more than five people. Troops and riot police have begun taking positions near monasteries, opposition party headquarters, and the house of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Comedian Zaganar was arrested at his home overnight. He has previously spoken publically in support of the protests.

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, announced earlier today that the Australian government is following events in Burma closely, and urged the Burmese government to show restraint. He also called for the respect of "the legitimate right of Burmese citizens to peaceful protest."

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