Tension high as mass protests in Myanmar enter second week

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"We reaffirm our support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Myanmar", it added. The election commission said there is no evidence to support the military's claims.

Speakers at the council session called for states to implement targeted sanctions against military leaders responsible for the coup, as well as against their business interests. It reversed almost a decade of progress toward democracy following 50 years of military rule and has led to widespread protests in cities around the country.

The military had demanded the postponement of new parliamentary sessions, alleging massive voting fraud in the November 2020 general elections, which saw the National League for Democracy win a majority of seats in both houses of parliament.

Thomas Andrews, the UN rights investigator for Myanmar, said the UN Security Council should consider imposing sanctions and arms embargoes on Myanmar.

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News of such arrests circulated widely on social media, including in memes captioned: "Our nights aren't safe anymore" and: "Myanmar military is kidnapping people at night".

Numerous protesters were students from local global schools and universities, and they held signs that read "We don't want dictatorship", "Stop helping the military coup" and "Free our leader".

Besides Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, more than 350 others have been detained since the 1 February putsch, including activists, journalists, students and monks, al-Nashif said. The protesters demand restoration of power to the deposed civilian government and are seeking freedom for Aung San Suu Kyi. But their deep mistrust of the military, which has brutally repressed their armed struggles for more autonomy, has made them uneasy allies with her party.

On Saturday thousands assembled in Myanmar's main city Yangon, the capital Naypyitaw, the second city Mandalay and other towns, a day after the biggest protests yet in the Southeast Asian country. He said the Myanmar media was also coming under increasing threat from the junta. The orders also commuted some death-penalty sentences to life imprisonment and reduced the terms of other prison sentences.


Demonstrations have so far largely been peaceful, but police have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on protesters-with isolated reporters of live rounds being fired at crowds.

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.

"It should only highlight the fact that the military have thrown hundreds of people in jail since the start of the coup for peacefully challenging their rule", Ming Yu Hah, the group's deputy regional director for campaigns, said in a statement.

The council has no power to impose sanctions but can train a political spotlight on rights abuses and violations.

Years of inaction on the Myanmar military by the worldwide community contributed to the most recent coup in the country, Deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said on Friday. US President Joe Biden's administration on February 11 has already placed ten individuals and three entities connected to the military on the US sanctions list.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Treasury Department announced it was freezing US -based assets belonging to the sanctioned individuals.

The move means pages and profiles with links to the military will be harder to access, and fewer users will see content they post.

The sanctions prevent the named individuals from doing business in the United States, though the military leadership is not known to have major US interests.

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