Mobilization against the coup continues in Burma on Friday, as the army increases the arrests of politicians and activists. Washington’s announcement of new sanctions against the putschist generals does not seem to stop the military junta.
Since the February 1 coup that overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, 241 people have been arrested and are in detention, according to an NGO helping political prisoners. The authorities have also drafted a very liberticidal cybersecurity bill.
The Burmese, despite fear of reprisals from the police, continue to take to the streets on Friday. In Yangon, the economic capital, professional football players and supporters marched, wearing a red jersey in the colors of the National League for Democracy (LND), Aung San Suu Kyi’s party. “Let’s reject the dictatorship!” Could be read on their banner.
Tens of thousands of Burmese have taken to the streets over the past seven days, an unprecedented protest since 2007. Police, air traffic controllers, teachers, health professionals, a large number of civil servants have also gone on strike.
Junta leader Min Aung Hlain warned them Thursday evening, ordering them to return to work. “Incited by unscrupulous people, some members of the civil service have not fulfilled their duties,” the general wrote in a statement, warning that “effective action will be taken.” Crowds were smaller, however, since the ban on gatherings and the curfew decreed earlier this week.
At the same time, 23,324 prisoners, including 55 foreigners, will be released, others will see their sentences reduced, the newspaper said on Friday. Global New Light of Myanmar, which belongs to the state. No details were provided on the profile of the detainees released, but these mass amnesties are frequent in Burma on public holidays.
Special session at the United Nations
Events remained at the heart of the international agenda. Washington detailed its new sanctions, announcing blocking all assets and transactions in the United States of ten military officials or former military, held responsible for the coup.
In addition to General Hlaing, these measures target other high-ranking officials such as the Minister of Defense, Mya Tun Oo. They warned that new coercive measures could be put in place if the military does not surrender power. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also brandished the threat of sanctions.
The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Burma on Friday. The position of Beijing and Moscow, traditional supporters of the Burmese army at the United Nations, will be closely scrutinized.
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Internet giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, have also reacted, denouncing the cybersecurity bill that would allow the military to ban websites and force social networks to transmit metadata. ‘users. Facebook also said it would reduce the visibility of content managed by the Burmese military, claiming it “continued to spread false information” after it took power.
The junta challenges the regularity of the legislative elections in November, won overwhelmingly by the NLD. In reality, the generals feared that their influence would diminish after the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi, who might have wanted to change the Constitution.