A day after a violent crackdown on protesters that left three people dead in Myanmar, security forces staged protests against the coup in several towns on Tuesday with tear gas and moral bombs, but without any death toll in the streets.
During questioning, however, Zaw Myat Linn, a member of the National League for Democracy (LND), a party of the civilian leader deposed and imprisoned during the military coup, Aung San Suu Kyi, died during ‘interrogation after being arrested.
The information was confirmed by Ba Myo Thein, who was Linn’s colleague in the parliament dissolved by the army, and by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which counts 60 civilians killed since the seizure of power.
According to Thein, family members are now trying to retrieve the body of the former deputy from the military hospital. Linn is the second party member to be killed in the custody of the military dictatorship. Khin Maung Latt, who was campaign manager for an LND parliamentarian elected in 2020, died after being arrested on Saturday evening.
On Tuesday in downtown Rangoon, agents stepped up their operations and arrests and besieged hundreds of activists overnight. Security forces entered several homes in search of regime critics, after state press warned anyone hiding protesters would be punished.
According to residents, the target of the action that ended with dozens of detainees were houses that had LND flags on their windows and balconies.
To support the besieged protesters, hundreds of residents defied the curfew imposed by the authorities and took to the streets. “Free the students,” they shouted. The activists managed to get out of the neighborhood in the early hours of the day.
As night fell in the coastal town of Dawei, officers shot at protesters in various neighborhoods. Witnesses said two journalists from the independent Kamayut news company were arrested.
The protests are against the general-led coup on February 1, which toppled a civilian government. The military says there was fraud in the November election, but provided no evidence. They promise to hold a new election, although they haven’t set a deadline for doing so.
“The government’s patience is over,” the state press said after five weeks of daily pro-democracy protests. The military has increasingly tightened its grip on militants, with more than 1,800 people arrested in recent weeks and attacks on growing NGOs, the press and politicians.
The day after a police operation at the Myanmar Now news agency, agents went to the headquarters of independent media outlet Mizzima, whose license has been revoked by the Ministry of Information, along with other independent media – Myanmar Now, DVB, Khit Thit and 7 days.
Myanmar Now reports that at least 35 journalists have been arrested since taking power, 19 of whom have already been released.
The government has also confirmed that it has taken control of public hospitals and university campuses, “at the request of citizens who do not want to see instability in their country,” he said officially.
Doctors, teachers, lawyers and civil servants have declared strikes since the coup. The call for civil disobedience has a strong impact on sectors such as public administration, banks and hospitals. The military junta has warned that employees who fail to return to work will be sacked.
In the diplomatic field, the Myanmar ambassador to the United Kingdom followed in his partner’s footsteps at the UN and demanded, on Monday, “the release of Aung San Suu Kyi”, to whom he was summoned by his government .
The series of acts of the military government once again drew condemnation from the still divided international community. The UN has called for maximum restraint on the part of the military.
The UK, US and other Western countries have adopted selective sanctions, but China and Russia, allies of the Burmese military, have not condemned the coup.
The UN Security Council has not reached agreement on a joint declaration and will continue negotiations this week. The generals ignore any protest from the international community, however.