Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyis Party spokesman arrested | Free press


Yangon (AP) – Myanmar’s new junta continues to use brutal violence and imprisonment against political opponents, protesters and journalists. Another prominent member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was arrested Friday night.

It was party spokesman Kyi Toe who had informed the country’s media about the NLD and developments since the coup, Phyo Zayar Thaw, another well-known party member, announced on Facebook.

According to observers, there are concerns that Kyi Toe could be tortured. In recent weeks, two NLD members had died shortly after their imprisonment. Suu Kyi himself and President Win Myint were arrested in early February in the aftermath of the coup and were reportedly under house arrest.

It was also revealed on Friday that a journalist who worked for British broadcaster BBC in the former Burma was kidnapped. Aung Thura is said to have been taken along with a journalist from the Myanmar media company Mizzima in the capital Naypyidaw by apparently civilized men in the morning. The BBC has not yet been able to contact the employee, it is also unclear where the reporter has been taken, it said. “We ask the authorities to locate him and confirm he is safe,” the BBC said.

More than 2,200 people have been arrested since the coup d’état nearly seven weeks ago, according to the prisoner aid organization AAPP, including politicians, activists, ordinary citizens, as well as many journalists. At least 224 people died (since March 18). Rallies where protesters demand the release of Suu Kyi and the restoration of her civilian government are regularly ended with gun violence.

The nationwide protests against the generals continued on Friday, but on a smaller scale due to the increasing cruelty of the military. Local media in Shan State reported massive violence. At least eight protesters were killed in the city of Aungban when emergency services opened fire on a group of protesters, the Myanmar Now portal wrote.

In Yangon’s largest city (formerly: Rangoon), soldiers and police officers continued to spread fear and terror, set fire to protective barricades for the protesters and destroy vehicles, as eyewitnesses said. “We couldn’t sleep last night, they ran through the streets and insulted people and destroyed everything they saw on the street,” said a 24-year-old resident in Thingangyun district, whose car was destroyed by soldiers. “We’re not safe anywhere, they just attack people.”

The European Union delegation in Myanmar made a statement condemning the violence as “immoral and unjustifiable”. “Internet blackouts and media oppression will not hide the horrific acts of the military,” he said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also called for an immediate end to the violence on Friday and called on the governments of the region to hold a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). At the beginning of March, there was an online meeting of the foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN countries on the escalation of violence in Myanmar.