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Myanmar military junta accused of nighttime kidnappings

DW, 13 Feb 2021
The UN's top human rights body has passed a resolution urging Myanmar's military to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian government leaders detained after a coup earlier this month. Pressure on the military is also growing within Myanmar, where large crowds have been taking to the streets nationwide and demanding the restoration of civilian rule.
Daily rallies entered their second week in Myanmar on Saturday, despite a ban on public gatherings of five people or more. On February 1st, a military coup halted the transition to democracy and the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested. Ever since, opponents of the coup have sustained mass protests for two weeks despite the arrests of ever more junta critics.
The hours of darkness are a dangerous time in Myanmar. Stories of the military kidnapping people at night are circulating on social media. And yet, the will to keep up the fight appears unbroken. For the eighth day in a row, demonstrators took to the streets to call for democracy to be reinstated.
And now they have been given backing by the UN's top human rights body. The Human Rights Council passed a unanimous resolution urging Myanmar's military to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian government leaders.
The military's crackdown on dissent is getting harsher by the day.
The Red Cross said three people were wounded on Friday when police fired rubber bullets in the southeastern city of Mawlamyine. Arrested protesters gave the three-fingered opposition salute in defiance.
Meanwhile the military regime began releasing more than 23,000 prisoners as part of a mass clearing of the country's jails. Though the military has presented this as a sign of good will, the opposition fears the regime could just be making room for many new arrests.


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