Monday, August 2

Burmese protesters face up to 20 years in prison under new law


Updated

Long penalties and fines will also be applied to those who incite “hatred or contempt” towards the coup plotters.

Soldiers deployed in the streets of Rang
Soldiers deployed in the streets of Rangn.NYEIN CHAN NAINGEFE
  • Asia The US embassy in Burma warns of a military deployment in Rangn

With the Army deployed in the streets of the country and after a long night without internet, the Burmese once again challenged the growing repression of the military and they went out one more day to protest, while the elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, remains under house arrest.

Two weeks after the coup, and in an increasingly tense environment, the police and soldiers today they fired indiscriminately with compressed air shotguns to dissolve a demonstration in Mandalay, the second city of the country, as confirmed to Efe two witnesses, without at the moment there are figures of injured. In Rangn, groups of protesters showed their rejection of the military junta with banners reading “End the dictatorship” to the passage of the tanks and military trucks that since the day before have crossed the largest city in the country.

The military warned anti-coup protesters across the country to they will be able to face up to 20 years in prison if they obstruct the actions of the armed forces. Long penalties and fines will also apply to those who incite “hatred or contempt” towards the coup plotters, the BBC reported.

On Saturday, the military also reported that they had issued arrest warrants for seven prominent opposition activists and they warned the citizen not to shelter opposition activists fleeing arrest. Video footage showed people reacting defiantly, banging on pots and pans to warn their neighbors of nightly raids by security forces. The army also suspended laws requiring court orders to detain people on Saturday for more than 24 hours and to register private property.

At the headquarters of the Central Bank, the Army deployed several armed vehicles and more than a hundred policemen early in the morning as a clear message of threat to the employees who have decided to protest with the military uprising that ended the elected government of Aung Saint Suu Kyi. One of the most effective assets of the civil disobedience movement against the coup is being the strikes started by workers in the healthcare sector and that many officials are following, which is paralyzing the Administration.

The military presence was also noticed today in the vicinity of the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party led by Suu Kyi, where protesters were gathered to demand the release of the Nobel Peace Prize.

SUU KYI STILL ARRESTED

The popular 75-year-old leader has been under house arrest at her official residence in the capital, Naipyd, since last February 1 the military rose up against the elected government and detained part of its members. Suu Kyi will be detained until at least WednesdayWhen he could appear before a judge, lawyer Khin Maung Zaw confirmed to EFE.

The state councilor, who has already spent 15 years under house arrest during previous military junta governments, has been charged with illegally importing a telephone device and faces a sentence of up to three years in prison. Suu Kyi’s lawyer, who assured that You have not yet been able to meet with your clientHe noted that Wednesday’s session is expected to be held by videoconference, although the judge said that everything will depend on the decision of the police.

A LONG NIGHT

Burma woke up today from a long night of uncertainty after the Army was deployed in the streets late on Sunday afternoon and the internet was cut off, leaving citizens practically incommunicado, fearing more arrests and greater repression of the uniformed. The silence came after a week of massive protests and when the population shared on social networks an avalanche of videos of demonstrations and police raids.

According to the NetBlocks Observatory, internet traffic in Burma dropped to 14% of usual from 1:00 a.m. on Monday (18:30 GMT Sunday) and did not return to normal until eight hours later, in the third communications blackout since the coup d’état perpetrated by the military junta two weeks ago.

The repression in the streets and the deployment of tanks in various areas of Rangn led to a group of embassies, including those of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and a dozen other countries, to publish a statement on the night of Sunday in which they condemn “unequivocally” the arrest of political leaders, activists and officials and the harassment of journalists. “We call on the security forces to refrain from using violence against protesters and civilians, who are protesting against the overthrow of a legitimate government, “the statement reads.

“We support the people of Burma in their quest for democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity. The world is watching,” they warned. The military junta, headed by the chief of the Armed Forces, Min Aung Hlaing, justified the seizure of power by an alleged electoral fraud in the elections of last November in the NLD of Suu Kyi as it did in 2015.

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