Myanmar junta says 23,000 inmates freed as protests continue

Andrew Cummings
February 13, 2021

It emphasized that Manila has been "supportive" of the Southeast Asian nation's progress towards a fuller democracy and acknowledged the military's role in preserving Myanmar's territorial integrity as well as the "unifying role" of its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi's in the history of the country.

Hundreds of people are demonstrating daily in front of the Chinese Embassy in Yangon, the largest city, holding up messages in English and Chinese criticizing Beijing and chanting things like "Don't support the military!" and "Chinese government get out".

The United Nations human rights office said more than 350 people, including officials, activists and monks, have been arrested in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, including some who face criminal charges on "dubious grounds".

"Lack of action to address them has emboldened military leaders and contributed to this present crisis", she added.

"I am really anxious", said Thein Thein, now looking after her daughter's one-year-old child. "Her son is in trouble now since she was breastfeeding him".

"Even if they shoot, we are not afraid", she told AFP.

The government did not respond to requests for comment.

Doctors marked their support to the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) by marching in their white coats past the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon. Some arrests have taken place during the hours of darkness.

Members of civil society organisations and the media should be able to operate freely and without fear of violence, harassment or intimidation, it said, and restrictions on the Internet, telecommunications and social media should be lifted immediately in accordance with the global human rights law.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a watchdog group for political prisoners, voiced concern.

In a statement at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, she also said the military authorities must not be allowed to exacerbate the situation of the Rohingyas, a community that has been suffering immensely for decades.

They justified seizing power with claims of widespread voter fraud in November's election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won in a landslide.

YANGON-The US government slapped new sanctions on the top members of Myanmar's military regime on Thursday for staging a coup against the democratically elected civilian government of the country last week.

NLD press officer Kyi Toe said on Facebook that there were eight people living at her home and she was healthy.

They warned that "more violence against Myanmar's people would only compound the illegitimacy of the coup and the culpability of its leaders".

United Nations warned that any sanctions imposed over the coup in Myanmar must be "carefully targeted".

The Myanmar military seized power in a coup on February 1, sparking protests across the country.

Four others on the new sanctions list who are not SAC members are acting Myanmar President and retired Lieutenant General Myint Swe; Lieutenant General Sein Win; Lieutenant General Soe Htut; and Lieutenant General Ye Aung.

"We are preschool teachers, Every child our future, We don't want dictatorship", said one banner.

Coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing called on civil servants to return to work on Thursday and urged people to stop mass gatherings to avoid spreading the coronavirus - addressing the protests for the first time.

The US government said in a statement: "As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC [the Office of Foreign Assets Control]".

The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said that effective immediately, it will apply a presumption of denial for items requiring a licence for export and re-export to these select Burmese government departments and agencies.

"All laws, order and instructions published by the council that staged the coup are illegal", it said on Facebook.

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