Myanmar police step up arrests as anti-coup protests grow

Saturday, 6 February 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Myanmar police arrested another key aide of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and media said at least 30 people had been detained over pot-banging protests against a military coup as shows of anger gathered pace on Friday.

International pressure on the junta was also growing with the UN Security Council calling for the release of Suu Kyi and other leaders and US President Joe Biden considering sanctions on the ruling generals.

The latest high-profile detainee was 79-year-old Win Htein, a stalwart of Suu Kyi who was repeatedly imprisoned during their decades of struggling against previous juntas that led to the unsteady transition to democracy that began in 2011.

“We have been treated badly continuously for a long time,” he told Reuters by telephone as he was being taken away by police. “I have never been scared of them because I have done nothing wrong my entire life.”

Reuters was unable to reach police for comment on his arrest or what charges could be brought against him.

In Myanmar’s second city of Mandalay, 30 people were arrested over pot-banging protests which have taken place for the last three nights against Monday’s coup, media reported.

Eleven Media quoted Maung Maung Aye, deputy head of the regional police force as saying they were accused of breaking a law against “causing noise in public streets”. A teenager was among others arrested elsewhere over the noisy protests. There has been no outpouring of people onto the streets in a country with a bloody history of crackdowns on protests, but there were signs of coup opponents growing bolder – with dozens of youths parading in the southeastern city of Dawei.

A campaign of disobedience also gathered pace with some teachers joining work stoppages that began with doctors in government hospitals. Students at Yangon’s Dagon University held a protest march on campus.


UN Security Council demands Myanmar coup leaders free Suu Kyi as US weighs sanctions