Myanmar Regime Detains Over 100 People for Supporting Silent Strike Online

By The Irrawaddy 3 February 2022

Myanmar’s junta has arrested and charged more than a hundred people in the past week for their social media posts in support of the anti-regime movement

Those detained include businessmen, shop owners, two doctors, a nurse, two former lawmakers from the National League for Democracy Party, young people and a monk.

At least 109 critics of the junta, mostly from Yangon, were hunted from January 27 to February 2 for their posts on Facebook, according to reports in junta-controlled newspapers. Others were arrested in Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, Bago, Ayeyarwady and Magwe regions and in Shan, Kayin and Kachin states.

The newspaper reports stated that the detainees spread posts aimed at destabilizing the state and inciting people. They accused them of connecting with or supporting the parallel civilian National Unity Government, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and People’s Defense Forces, all of whom the military regime has labeled as “terrorist groups”.

Most of the detainees are business owners and shopkeepers who posted online that their businesses or shops would be closed on Tuesday in support of the silent strike that marked one year since the junta’s coup. Regime troops sealed off the detainees’ houses and shops.

On January 25, the junta warned that anyone taking part in the silent strike will face prosecution under a wide range of laws which carry harsh jail sentences including life imprisonment.

Immediately after the announcement, Myanmar military supporters gave information about people who notified their customers that they would be closed for the silent strike or who promoted the protest online.

Among the confirmed arrests are owners of restaurants, delivery businesses, food stalls, cell phone shops, cafes, fashion shops, as well as a makeup artist and a fortune teller.

Despite the arrests and threats of harsh punishment from the military regime, Myanmar staged the silent strike on Tuesday, in which the Myanmar people demonstrated their defiance against the junta, which continues to insist that “normalcy” is returning to the country.

People stayed at home for six hours and cities, towns and roads nationwide were mostly deserted, sending a clear message to the regime that the Myanmar people reject military rule.

The regime continues to struggle to control the country due to widespread civil and armed resistance.

Since the coup, the junta has killed 1,510 people and detained another 11.800.

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