Myanmar has seven days of protests, army has already arrested 350 opponents – 12/02/2021 – World

Despite the increase in arrests and threats from the military junta which controls the country against the civilian population in an attempt to prevent street protests, the mobilization against the coup in Myanmar continues.

On Friday (12), which marks the seventh consecutive day of protests, protesters returned to the streets across the country and three people were injured after clashes with police.

The United Nations human rights office said more than 350 people, including government officials, activists and monks, have been arrested since the February 1 coup – and some are still fighting. subject to criminal prosecution. We are a family business.

In the southeastern town of Mawlamyine, protesters threw stones at police, who responded with rubber bullets to disperse the crowd of tens of thousands, said Kyaw Myint, a cross official. -Red from Myanmar, who witnessed the clash.

Three people were injured by the gunfire, according to Myint. “A woman was shot in the stomach, a man in the cheek and another in the arm,” he told Reuters news agency.

Several people in Mawlamyine were arrested and then released after a crowd protested outside the police station, demanding the group’s freedom.

In the country’s largest city, Rangoon, doctors in white coats marched through Myanmar’s main Buddhist temple, the Shwedagon. There was also a second protest in another part of town, with people carrying humorous signs denouncing the army.

Other protests took place in Naypyitaw, the coastal town of Dawei, and Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

Friday’s protests were the largest yet and came two days after the United States imposed sanctions on the generals and their families – President Joe Biden announced the freezing of US government assets in the States – United, which totals $ 1 billion (5.3 billion reais).

The military carried out a coup in Myanmar on February 1, under the leadership of General Min Aung Hlaing. However, he and other commanders have already been subject to sanctions since 2019, in connection with the massacre of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The junta that now rules the country after shutting down the entire civilian government summit – including State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint – has banned gatherings of more than five people in various regions and established a 8 p.m. curfew. At 4 am in Rangoon and Mandalay, the two largest cities in the country.

They allege fraud in the November elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won by a large majority. On taking power, the military declared a state of emergency which should last for a year. Hlaing himself, however, said he could stay in power after this period to coordinate the holding of a new election.

To “please the public”, the army also ordered on Friday the release of more than 23,000 prisoners in the country – this decision comes following the arrests in recent days of relatives of Suu Kyi and senior election officials.

In a statement published in the state newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar, the council said the decision to grant the amnesty was consistent with “the establishment of a new democratic state with peace, development and discipline.”

In total, the government suspended the sentences of 23,314 people held in prisons and detention centers, but without giving much details about those released – it only said the list included 55 foreign prisoners.

Since the coup, opponent Suu Kyi has not been seen in public. According to members of the LND, she is under house arrest, but “in good health”.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist remains extremely popular, despite damage to her international reputation due to the plight of the Rohingya minority.

At a special session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, the agency’s human rights investigator in Myanmar said there were “more and more reports and evidence photographs “according to which the security forces had used live ammunition against demonstrators.

Myint Thu, Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN, said the government would like “a better understanding of the situation in the country” and greater cooperation from the international community.

“We do not want to delay the emergence of the democratic transition of the country,” he said, although no date has yet been set for the elections.

About 300 parliamentarians elected in Myanmar on Friday called on the United Nations to investigate “serious human rights violations” committed by the military, including the arrests of civilian leaders and the shooting of protesters.

In a letter read to the Human Rights Council in Geneva by British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, they said the council had also “imposed restrictions on people’s freedom of expression by preparing a bill on human rights. telecommunications intended to control access to the Internet and mobile services.

Facebook announced on Friday that it would reduce the visibility of content posted by the country’s military, on the grounds that they “continued to spread disinformation” – the government even blocked the social network on its territory in an attempt to contain the articulation of opponents.

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