Myanmar Coup: Thousands protest against military’s night raids targeting critics

Protesters in Myanmar continued for the eighth straight day on Saturday as arrests of the junta’s critics continued.

Thousands assembled in the financial hub, Yangon, while protesters also took to the streets in capital Naypyitaw and other towns and cities.

Protesters were angered by fresh detentions in midnight raids. “Stop kidnapping at night,” demonstrators held signs in Yangon in response to arrest raids in recent days.

Among those who were arrested was a doctor identified on social media as Pyae Phyo Naing, who was doing patient consultations in Ayeyarwaddy district, when the raid was carried on Thursday. A video of his arrest shared on social media fuelled anger among residents.

Internet memes captioned “Our nights aren’t safe anymore” and “Myanmar military is kidnapping people at night” have circulated widely on social media.

Adding pressure to the military is the demand of the UN Human Rights Council for the military to restore civilian rule and release the country’s civilian leaders.

During a rare special session on Friday requested by the United Kingdom and the European Union, the council adopted a resolution calling for all persons “arbitrarily detained” to be released and the “restoration of the elected government”.

“The world is watching,” the UN’s deputy rights chief Nada al-Nashif at the start of the session.

Besides Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, more than 350 others have been detained since the February 1 putsch, including activists, journalists, students and monks, al-Nashif said.

READ: Myanmar’s military government free 23,314 prisoners as coup protests continue

READ: Myanmar police fire shots against military coup protesters

Military Justify Coup:

The coup took place as a new session of parliament was set to open. The military declared a year-long state of emergency and handed over power to Commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.

In the November 8 general elections, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, NLD won 83% of available seats. But the military disputed the election results.

The fears of coup rose after the election commission rejected the military’s allegations of fraud elections.

This was just the second election since the end of military rule in 2011.