People in Myanmar are reacting with defiance as authorities use night-time raids to arrest opponents of the military coup. Video footage showed people banging pots and pans to warn their neighbors of approaching security forces.
Mass protests have taken place since the military seized control of the South East Asian country on 1 February. The army announced on Saturday that arrest warrants had been issued for seven prominent opposition campaigners. The announcements bore echoes of the near half-century of military rule before reforms began when the Southeast Asian country was one of the world’s most repressive and isolated states.
An order signed by military ruler General Min Aung Hlaing suspended three sections of laws “protecting the privacy and security of the citizens”, which had been introduced during the gradual liberalisation. Those sections include the requirement for a court order to detain prisoners beyond 24 hours and constraints on security forces’ ability to enter private property to search it or make arrests. The suspensions also free up spying on communications. The statement gave no specific end date.
The coup has prompted the biggest street protests in more than a decade and has been denounced by Western countries, with the United States announcing some sanctions on the ruling generals and other countries also considering measures. As anti-coup protests sprang up again in the biggest city Yangon, the capital Naypyitaw and elsewhere on Saturday, the army said arrest warrants had been issued for seven high profile critics of military rule over their comments on social media.
People should inform the police if they spot any of those named and will be punished if they shelter them, the army’s True News information team said in a statement and at least Myanmar police arrest nearly 100 Rohingya in Raid on House in Yangon too.
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