fredag 19. februar 2021

Arrests, Journalist Beatings as Myanmar Junta Faces Relentless Protests Rejecting Army Rule

With Myanmar’s mass anti-coup demonstrations showing no sign of letting up and even drawing more civil servants, the military junta that seized power this month stepped up arrests of protesters on Thursday and attacked journalists covering the rallies.

Authorities have arrested, charged, or sentenced 521 people since the coup deposed Aung San Suu Kyi and her elected government on Feb. 1, with 44 of them now released, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP Burma). The figure includes top leaders detained in the coup as well as protesters. Security forces are beating reporters with police batons at protest sites while cracking down on demonstrators, with plainclothes officers photographing and tailing reporters covering the rallies, witnesses said.

Video journalist Kyaw Zey Win, who was covering a protest in Mandalay, said he was beaten by police and detained even though he identified himself as a member of the media. “One of them who dragged me from the scene began beating me, and I fell as another one kicked me,” he told RFA. “Then, they repeatedly beat my head with batons. They stepped on my face. I covered my face with my hands.”