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Myanmar’s military remains tough – Internet blocking again

After the military coup in Myanmar and the resulting nationwide protests, the generals continued to be tough. After brutal attacks against peaceful demonstrators, the military switched off the Internet again nationwide on the night of duty, according to activists and network monitors. Current reports on the situation were therefore not available.

On Monday, tens of thousands of people across the country had it despite the growing military presence protested in the streets against the new junta. Some of the emergency services reacted with violence. Gunfire reportedly rang out in the northern city of Mandalay. In many other parts of the country, too, including the largest city of Rangoon, people defied the threats from the army. They called for the restoration of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government.

Security forces in Myitkyina in the north of the country shot at participants in a rally on Sunday. Tanks had arrived in Rangoon at the weekend, and military vehicles were on the streets in other parts of the country too – obviously to intimidate the population.

The military, which had ruled the Southeast Asian country with an iron hand for almost five decades, brutally put down any resistance in the past. Only ten years ago were tentative democratic reforms initiated – until the coup on the night of February 1st. The alleged trigger should have been irregularities in the parliamentary election in November, which Suu Kyi clearly won. In the wake of the coup, the military established the former icon of freedom together with many other politicians. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is said to be under house arrest.

A court hearing planned for this Monday Suu Kyis was postponed to Wednesday, as the news portal “Frontier Myanmar” wrote, citing lawyer Khin Maung Zaw. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party has appointed him defender of the 75-year-old and the also arrested President Win Myint. The hearing should apparently take place via video switch. It is questionable whether Suu Kyi will be released afterwards.

She is accused of violating the country’s import-export laws. During a house search shortly after the coup, radios are said to have been found in her house. It will be checked whether these have been illegally brought into the country, it said. Win Myint is accused of violating Corona requirements. Both politicians are reportedly facing up to three years in prison.

At least 426 people have been arrested in Myanmar since the coup, according to reports by human rights activists. Of these, 391 are still behind bars, according to a statement by the AAPP Support Organization for Political Prisoners.


(mho)

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