Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta threatens protesters ahead of coup anniversary

Bangkok Desk, Jan 26 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta is warning people against taking part in protests scheduled for Feb. 1, the first anniversary of the coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

In the country’s most populous city Yangon, the authorities have visited neighborhoods and publicly warned citizens that they could be arrested and their belongings confiscated if they participate in the strike, sources told EFE.

Opposition groups have called a series of peaceful protests across the country, including a silent strike that seeks to paralyze the country.

In a statement published by military-controlled newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday, the junta also threatens to use a wide range of laws, which imply long prison sentences, against people who participate in silent strikes or those involving banging pots and pans and blaring car horns.

“People would face legal actions under the law if they follow such incitements,” the official notice said.

In it, the authorities described the self-proclaimed National Unity Government (NUG) made up of politicians and activists loyal to Suu Kyi as a “terrorist group” and accused it of “intentionally making incitements, propaganda and threats to destroy the stability of the State and administrative machinery with public fear using various ways via social networks.”

“The people should not participate in spreading propaganda of terrorist groups, subordinates, their colluded groups and persons and if not, they will be taken action under the law,” the military junta warned, even threatening to confiscate the assets of the participants.

Almost a year after the military coup, the junta has still not managed to garner support in the country despite violent repression of dissidents.

At least 1,493 people have been killed as a result of the crackdown by security forces, and over 11,730 have been detained, according to the latest data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The military junta’s violent repression against civilians continues and has even worsened in some parts of the country, with recent reports of massacres of civilians by the army and airstrikes on villages.

In May, the NUG formed its own civilian militia, which acts alongside some ethnic guerrillas fighting for decades against the army, and declared a “defensive war” against the troops of the military junta in September. EFE


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