Myanmar military killing protestors, civilians as ‘psychological warfare’ after coup

Alexa Koenig:

In the wake of the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, we partnered up with the Associated Press to try to get a sense of what was happening on the ground.

We were beginning to hear a number of stories from sources, from social media that there was widespread violence. We all know about the protests that were taking place.

So, one of the things that we began doing here at the Human Rights Center Investigations Lab is combing social media for videos, for photographs that could help tell that story. We began scraping that information. We ended up with about 2,000 to 3,000 tweets, and combing through those tweets to get a sense of any patterns of behavior that we might see.

And what quickly kind of bubbled up to the surface was the fact that we were seeing civilians or what looked to be civilians being shot by what appeared to be military in broad daylight, often dragged into the backs of trucks.

And then we were hearing from some of our sources on the ground and through additional reporting that many of these bodies, when they were returned, and if they were returned to families, the families were being told a very different story about what had happened to their loved one than what they could see in front of them.

So, they may be told, for example, that this individual had had a heart attack, when there was evidence of potential torture.

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