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Sabtu, 03 April 2021

Five killed in Myanmar protests as junta cracks down on online critics - ABC News

Myanmar security forces have opened fire on pro-democracy protests, killing five people, as the military reinforced its bid to end dissent by blocking the internet and issuing arrest warrants for its online critics.

Security forces in the central town of Monywa fired on a crowd on Saturday, killing three people, the Myanmar Now news service said.

One man was shot and killed in another central town, Bago, and one died in Thaton to the south, the Bago Weekly Journal online news portal reported.

"They started firing non-stop with both stun grenade and live rounds," the protester in Monywa, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

A cloud of smoke hangs above sandbags and people huddled in a rundown Asian village.
The daily protests have spread to regional cities like Monywa in the Sagaing region. (

Reuters

)

Despite the killing of more than 550 people by the security forces since the February 1 coup that overthrew an elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, protesters are coming out every day, often in smaller groups in smaller towns.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group said 46 of those killed were children.

The demonstrations that drew tens of thousands of people in the early days of defiance in big cities have largely stopped with opponents of the coup adopting "guerrilla rallies" — small, quick shows of defiance before security forces can respond.

People also gather at night for candle-lit vigils.

The authorities are waging a campaign to control information.

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They had shut down mobile data and on Friday ordered internet providers to cut wireless broadband, depriving most customers of access, though some messages and pictures were still being posted and shared on social media.

Outspoken celebrities targeted

Authorities issued warrants for 18 celebrities, including social media influencers and two journalists, state media reported late on Friday.

That was under a law against material intended to cause a member of the armed forces to mutiny or disregard their duty.

All of the celebrities are known to oppose military rule.

The charge can carry a prison term of three years.

A glamorous Asian woman with long hair and white pants suit smiles in an ornate hotel.
Celebrities like Han Lay, Miss Grand Myanmar, have voiced their opposition to the military junta.(

Reuters: Athit Perawongmetha

)

Actress Paing Phyoe Thu said she would not be cowed.

"Whether a warrant has been issued or not, as long as I'm alive I'll oppose the military dictatorship who are bullying and killing people," Ms Phyoe Thu said on Facebook.

She regularly attended rallies in the main city of Yangon in the weeks after the coup.

State broadcaster MRTV announced the warrants for the 18 with screenshots and links to their Facebook profiles.

While the military has banned platforms like Facebook, it has continued to use social media to track critics and promote its message.

MRTV maintains a YouTube channel and shares links to its broadcasts on Twitter, both of which are officially banned.

Last week, Miss Grand Myanmar, Han Lay, used her speech at a beauty pageant in Bangkok to call for "urgent international help" to stop her nation's "sadness and sorrow".

Reuters

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiZWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTA0LTAzL2ZpdmUta2lsbGVkLWluLW15YW5tYXItcHJvdGVzdHMtYXMtanVudGEtY3JhY2tzLWRvd24vMTAwMDQ3NjQ20gEoaHR0cHM6Ly9hbXAuYWJjLm5ldC5hdS9hcnRpY2xlLzEwMDA0NzY0Ng?oc=5

2021-04-03 07:44:43Z
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