FactualRiot police were deployed in large numbers near the University of Rangoon, where the demonstration took place. The country continues to experience significant Internet shutdowns.
Burma remains under tension. Thousands of people took to the streets again on Sunday February 7, despite internet censorship and arrests, to protest the coup that toppled the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this week .
Riot police were deployed in large numbers near the University of Rangoon in the north of the economic capital of Myanmar, where the demonstration was taking place. No clashes were reported.
“We will continue to come together until we get democracy. Down with the dictatorship ”, said Myo Win, a 37-year-old protester, under a concert of honking. “The dictatorship has been entrenched in our country for too long”, lamented Myat Soe Kyaw, when Burma has already lived under the yoke of the army for almost fifty years since its independence in 1948.
Arrest of a first foreign national
Not far from there, protesters shouted: “Free Mother Suu”, in reference to Aung San Suu Kyi. Others waved flags, in the colors of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND), and made the three-fingered salute, a gesture of resistance inspired by the film. Hunger Games. Others have also taken to the streets in the early hours of the day and banging on pots and pans for “Drive out demons”, the military.
On Saturday, several thousand people had already gathered in the economic capital of Burma, the first large gathering since the putsch of the military who established a state of emergency for one year, arrested Aung San Suu Kyi as well as dozens of political leaders and activists.
Despite orders to block the Internet and social media by the military, Sunday’s rally was webcast on Facebook where messages of support poured in: “You are our heroes”, “Respect for demonstrators”.
Sunday, the censorship continued and the communication tools remained very disturbed. “The generals are trying to paralyze the citizen resistance movement and leave the outside world in the dark”, lamented Tom Andrews, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on human rights in Burma.
The arrests continue. More than 160 people were arrested, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners, based in Rangoon. An economic adviser to the 75-year-old ex-leader, Australian Sean Turnell, was detained in his hotel.
“I am currently detained and possibly charged with something”the Macquarie University professor in Australia told the BBC on Saturday. This is the first known arrest of a foreign national since the putsch.
Aung San Suu Kyi “in good health”
Aung San Suu Kyi, very recently criticized by the international community for her passivity in the Rohingya Muslim crisis, remains adored in her country. She was charged with breaking an obscure trade rule and is found “Under house arrest” in the capital Naypyidaw, ” in good health “, according to a spokesperson for the NLD.
Authorities “Must ensure that the right to peaceful assembly is fully respected and that demonstrators will not be subjected to reprisals”, tweeted the UN Human Rights Office after Saturday’s protests.
The UN called for the release of all detainees but did not formally condemn the coup in its joint declaration, Beijing and Moscow, traditional supporters of the Burmese army at the United Nations, opposing this formulation. . The United States and the European Union are on their side hovering the threat of sanctions.
To justify his passage in force, the head of the army, Min Aung Hlaing, who now concentrates most of the powers, alleged of“Huge” fraud in the legislative elections of November, massively won by the NLD. In reality, the generals feared to see their influence diminish after the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi, who could have wanted to modify the Constitution, which is very favorable to the military. The latter promised free elections at the end of the state of emergency.