Wednesday, July 28

Myanmar coup: protesters try to reach NLD headquarters in Yangon

Protesters gathered in Myanmar’s most populous city, Yangon, on Monday as protests continued against this month’s military coup.

A police barricade was set up on the road leading to the Yangon headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which is headed by deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Protesters sat behind the barricade chanting slogans and waving banners high demanding the release of Suu Kyi and the return of the government they elected.

The military seized power in the country on February 1 and detained Suu Kyi and members of her government.

The board, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, said it intervened because the government failed to adequately investigate allegations of fraud in last year’s election, which the NLD overwhelmingly won.

The state electoral commission refuted the claim and said there is no evidence to support it.

Protesters also gathered in front of a police station in the capital Naypyitaw on Monday to demand the release of a group of high school students who were detained while participating in anti-coup activities.

One of the students who managed to escape told reporters that the students, believed to be between 13 and 16 years old, were peacefully demonstrating when the police suddenly arrived and began arresting them.

It is not clear exactly how many students were rounded, but estimates put the figure between 20 and 40.

It comes after a near-total internet shutdown was reported in Myanmar on Sunday night, as the massive protests against the February 1 military coup entered its second week.

Netblocks, a London-based service that tracks internet outages and shutdowns, said Sunday night that a near-total internet shutdown was in effect, with connectivity at just 14% of normal levels.

Previously, armored personnel carriers were seen on the streets of Myanmar’s largest city Yangon, further increasing tensions.

On Monday, large numbers of people across the country again violated anti-demonstration orders to protest the military’s takeover of power.

Despite the internet blackout, thousands of engineers marched through the streets of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, chanting and holding signs that read: “Free our leader,” “Who does justice?” and “Stop illegally arresting people at midnight.”

In Yangon, the most populous city in the country, fewer protesters gathered, but there were still several hundred anti-coup protesters in front of the Myanmar Central Bank building, where there were also military trucks full of soldiers, riot police, trucks with water cannons and armored. personnel carriers.

Meanwhile, military leaders extended the detention of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose detention was scheduled to expire on Monday.

Her release is a key demand from the protesting crowds, but she will now be in pretrial detention until Wednesday, when she will likely appear in court by video conference, according to Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer who was asked by Suu Kyi’s party to represent her.

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