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Thousands rally in Yangon despite military build-up, UN expert ‘terrified’ violence could ensue

YANGON: Thousands had been rallying in Yangon on Wednesday (Feb 17) to protest towards the military coup despite a build-up of troops and fears of violence escalating.

“Today is the day we have to fight till the end. We need to show our unity and strength to end the military rule. People need to come out on the streets,” a 21-year-old college scholar advised AFP.

Kyi Toe, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy occasion of ousted chief Aung San Suu Kyi, wrote a submit on his Facebook web page, saying: “Let’s march en masse. Let’s present our pressure towards the coup authorities that has destroyed the way forward for youth and our nation.”

Yangon Myanmar protest Feb 17

A person holding a placard is seen close to the Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Yangon, Myanmar protest Feb 17

Protesters are see in downtown Sule in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

UN particular rapporteur Tom Andrews mentioned he feared the state of affairs was spiralling uncontrolled, with experiences of troopers being introduced into the business capital from outlying areas.

“In the past, such troop movements preceded killings, disappearances, and detentions on a mass scale,” he mentioned in a press release issued by his workplace in Geneva. 

“I am terrified that given the confluence of these two developments­ – planned mass protests and troops converging – we could be on the precipice of the military committing even greater crimes against the people of Myanmar.”

READ: Myanmar coup opponents call for new show of force

READ: Myanmar security forces open fire to disperse protesters

On Monday in Mandalay, the nation’s second greatest metropolis, safety forces pointed weapons at a gaggle of 1,000 demonstrators and attacked them with slingshots and sticks. Local media reported that police additionally fired rubber bullets right into a crowd and that just a few folks had been injured.

The protests are going down in defiance of an order banning gatherings of 5 or extra folks.

Yangon, Myanmar protest Feb 17 (1)

Protesters are see in downtown Sule in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Protesters block a major road during a demonstration

Protesters block a significant highway throughout an illustration towards the military coup in Yangon on Feb 17, 2021.
(Photo: AFP/Sai Aung Main)

Police filed a brand new cost towards Aung San Suu Kyi, her lawyer mentioned Tuesday, a transfer prone to gas additional public anger.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained in the Feb 1 military takeover, already confronted a cost of illegally possessing walkie-talkies – an obvious try to supply a authorized veneer for her home arrest. 

The new charge accuses her of breaking a legislation that has been used to prosecute individuals who have violated coronavirus restrictions, lawyer Khin Maung Zaw advised reporters after assembly with a decide in the capital, Naypyidaw. It carries a most punishment of three years in jail.

READ: UN envoy issues Myanmar warning after Aung San Suu Kyi hit with new charge

READ: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to face court this week: Lawyer

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a strong denunciation of the authorized manoeuvre towards Aung San Suu Kyi.


“New charges against Aung San Suu Kyi fabricated by the Myanmar military are a clear violation of her human rights,” he tweeted. “We stand with the people of Myanmar and will ensure those responsible for this coup are held to account.”

Yangon, Myanmar protest Feb 17 (2)

Protesters are seen in downtown Sule in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar

Demonstrators collect close to the Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: AP)

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A spokesman for the United Nations mentioned any new costs towards Aung San Suu Kyi don’t change the world physique’s “firm denunciation” of the military overturning the “democratic will of the people” and arresting political leaders, activists and peaceable protesters.

“We have called for charges against her to be dropped, for her to be released,” Stephane Dujarric mentioned.

Myanmar, Yangon protest Feb 17, 2021

Police personnel are seen in Hledan, Yangon amid protests in Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

Myanmar, Yangon protest Feb 17, 2021 (1)

Demonstrators are seen in Hledan, Yangon amid protests in Myanmar on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: Naung Kham)

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The coup has introduced a halt to Myanmar’s fragile progress towards democracy, most seen in Aung San Suu Kyi’s tenure as nationwide chief.

For a 3rd night time in a row, the military ordered an Internet blackout — virtually completely blocking online entry from 1am to 9am. It has additionally ready a draft legislation that might criminalise many online actions.

READ: Myanmar troops fire on protesters in signs of feared crackdown

While the military didn’t say why the Internet was blocked, there’s widespread hypothesis that the federal government is putting in a firewall system to permit it to watch or block online exercise. 

Social media customers have speculated extensively that neighbouring China, with in depth expertise in censoring the Internet, was giving technical help for such a mission.

Protesters hold signs as they block a road in Yangon

Protesters maintain indicators as they block a highway throughout an illustration towards the military coup in Yangon on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

Protesters block a bridge with their cars during a demonstration

Protesters block a bridge with their vehicles throughout an illustration towards the military coup in Yangon on Feb 17, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Sai Aung Main)

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China has to this point not condemned the takeover. Some protesters have accused Beijing – which has lengthy been Myanmar’s primary arms provider and has main investments in the nation – of propping up the junta.

China’s ambassador mentioned Beijing has pleasant relations with each Aung San Suu Kyi’s occasion and the military, in line with the textual content of an interview posted on the embassy’s Facebook web page on Tuesday. Chen Hai mentioned he wished the 2 sides could clear up their variations via dialogue.

READ: Myanmar situation ‘not what China wants to see’: Ambassador

“The current development in Myanmar is absolutely not what China wants to see,” he mentioned.

Chen additionally denied that China was serving to Myanmar to manage its Internet visitors and that Chinese troopers had been displaying up on Myanmar’s streets.

​​​​​​​“For the record, these are completely nonsense and even ridiculous accusations,” Chen mentioned.

The military contends there was fraud in final yr’s election, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s occasion gained in a landslide, and says it should maintain energy for a yr earlier than holding new elections. The election fee discovered no proof to assist the claims of fraud.

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