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Monitoring group urges international community to act after Myanmar torture pics broadcast

THE Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) urged the international community to act today after the Myanmar military broadcast images of clearly distressed detainees on state TV.

Pictures on the military-owned MRTV channel showed the faces of four men and two women bloodied and bruised. One of the women had a swollen jaw and black eye.

The AAPP said it was evidence that the military junta “uses torture as its policy,” adding: “If the international community does not act, torture — and to death — will clearly continue.”

According to the monitoring group, security forces have killed 737 people and detained at least 3,229 since the military seized power in a coup on February 1. 

“The AAPP is concerned for all those detained, particularly in undisclosed locations,” it said.

The six detainees shown on TV were arrested on Sunday in Yankin, a suburb of Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, according to MRTV.

The military claimed they were part of a plot to plant a bomb which had killed three soldiers outside a government office, but did not provide further details.

But critics have warned that the military often detains opposition activists on spurious grounds, casting doubt on the veracity of the claims.

Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing continues to deny that a coup has taken place, insisting that the military is merely “safeguarding democracy,” having made unfounded claims of electoral fraud in last November’s poll, a landslide win for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. 

She and other leading government figures are currently being held, facing numerous charges.

Last week opponents of military rule formed a new national unity government, which is seeking international recognition.

The United Nations has warned that the situation in Myanmar may develop into a “full-blown conflict” similar to that seen in Syria.

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