4 killed in Myanmar protests as junta cracks down on on-line critics By Reuters

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© Reuters. A professional-democracy protester is detained by riot cops throughout a rally in opposition to the navy coup in Yangon

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(Reuters) -Myanmar safety forces opened fireplace on pro-democracy protests on Saturday killing 4 folks, a protester and media mentioned, because the navy bolstered its bid to finish dissent with arrest warrants for on-line critics and web blocks.

Regardless of the killing of greater than 550 folks by the safety forces because the Feb. 1 coup, protesters are popping out day-after-day, usually in smaller teams in smaller cities, to voice opposition to the reimposition of navy rule.

Safety forces within the central city of Monywa fired on a crowd killing thee folks, the Myanmar Now information service mentioned.

“They began firing continuous with each stun grenade and stay rounds,” the protester in Monywa, who requested to not be named, instructed Reuters through a messaging app. “Folks backed off and rapidly put up … boundaries, however a bullet hit an individual in entrance of me within the head. He died on the spot.”

One man was shot and killed within the southern city of Thaton, the Bago Weekly Journal on-line information portal reported. The media outlet earlier reported one particular person was killed in Bago city however later mentioned the particular person was wounded by had not died.

Police and a spokesman for the junta didn’t reply phone calls looking for remark.

The Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners activist group, in a press release earlier within the day, mentioned the safety forces had killed 550 folks, 46 of them kids, because the navy overthrew an elected authorities led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The demonstrations that drew tens of hundreds of individuals within the early days of defiance in large cities have largely stopped with opponents of the coup adopting “guerrilla rallies” – small, fast reveals of defiance earlier than safety forces can reply.

Folks additionally collect at night time for candle-lit vigils.

“Individuals are nonetheless protesting day-after-day as a result of we imagine strongly that this can be a combat between good and evil,” protest chief Tayzar San mentioned in an audio message to Reuters.

The authorities are additionally waging a marketing campaign to regulate info. They’d shut down cellular knowledge and on Friday ordered web suppliers to chop wi-fi broadband, depriving most prospects of entry, although some messages and photos have been nonetheless being posted and shared on social media.

Authorities issued warrants for 18 celebrities, together with social media influencers and two journalists, underneath a legislation in opposition to materials supposed to trigger a member of the armed forces to mutiny or disregard their obligation, state media reported late on Friday.

All of them are identified to oppose navy rule. The cost can carry a jail time period of three years.

Actress Paing Phyoe Thu mentioned she wouldn’t be cowed.

“Whether or not a warrant has been issued or not, so long as I am alive I will oppose the navy dictatorship who’re bullying and killing folks. The revolution should prevail,” she mentioned on Fb (NASDAQ:).

Paing Phyoe Thu commonly attended rallies in the principle metropolis of Yangon within the weeks after the coup. Her whereabouts weren’t instantly identified.

SILENCING THE VOICES?

State broadcaster MRTV introduced the warrants for the 18 with screenshots and hyperlinks to their Fb profiles.

Whereas the navy has banned platforms like Fb, it has continued to make use of social media to trace critics and promote its message.

MRTV maintains a YouTube channel and shares hyperlinks to its broadcasts on Twitter, each of that are formally banned.

The US condemned the web shutdown.

“We hope this received’t silence the voices of the folks,” State Division spokeswoman Jalina Porter instructed a briefing.

The US and different Western international locations have denounced the coup and known as for the discharge of Suu Kyi, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her marketing campaign in opposition to navy rule. She has been charged with violating an official secrets and techniques act that’s punishable by as much as 14 years in jail.

The coup has rekindled previous wars with autonomy-seeking ethnic minority forces within the north and the east.

Myanmar’s oldest rebel group, the Karen Nationwide Union (KNU), has seen the primary navy air strikes on its forces in additional than 20 years, after it introduced its assist for the pro-democracy motion.

The KNU mentioned greater than 12,000 villagers had fled their houses due to the air strikes. It known as for a global embargo on arms gross sales to the navy.

Media has reported that about 20 folks have been killed in air strikes in KNU territory in latest days, together with practically a dozen at a gold mine run by the group.

Preventing has additionally flared within the north between the military and ethnic Kachin insurgents. The turmoil has despatched a number of thousand refugees fleeing into Thailand and India.





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