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Myanmar protesters wear blue shirts to challenge Junta amid growing arrests of youth – Radio Free Asia

Protesters in Myanmar on Wednesday launched a “blue shirt” campaign, honoring a deceased veteran dissident, who always wore a blue prison uniform, to push for demand. they on the release of 3,300 demonstrators held by the military regime since February 1 coup deposed the elected government.

April 21 is the seventh anniversary of Win Tin, a veteran journalist and leading figure in the National Federation for Democracy (NLD), who was arrested in 1989 for participating in protests. love against the military government before, a political movement. career of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Released in 2008 after nearly 20 years serving a sentence in the infamous Insein prison in Yangon, Win Tin wore a blue prison coat daily until death to demand the release of all prisoners politics in Myanmar, a former British colony that was ruled by the military for two years. -third in 73 years is an independent country.

Zeyar Lwin, a member of the quirky troupe Peacock Generation detained in 2019 for defaming the Myanmar Army during street performances, said: “The current situation shows that the entire country is in rebellion. against the government.

“Now that has been over two months and for three months, a lot of people have been arrested, and many have died,” he said. “For them, this is another kind of move to free them.”

Zeyar Lwin said: “All the people, along with the young people, are moving forward steadily against the military council and its allies,” said Zeyar Lwin, referring to the Administrative Council. state, the official name of military government.

The green-shirt rally – the latest in a series of 11-week-old anti-military protests – comes a week after demonstrators in many cities in the country have a 54 million populace. streets and buildings red according to what they call the “Bloody campaign against dictatorship.” “

Previous protests were of good quantity, flowers and shoes – all aimed at encouraging protesters and honoring the more than 700 people who have been killed since the February 1 military coup that brought down the main scene. Aung San Su Kyi’s civilian government.

Myanmar anti-coup protesters raise three fingers to greet a challenge during a rally in Dawei, the Thanintharyi region of southern Myanmar, April 21, 2021. Credit: AFP / Dawei Watch

Green shirt in Monywa

In Monywa, the largest city in the Sagaing region, northwestern Myanmar, a young protester said protesters were wearing blue shirts to march to ask them to release local protest leader Wai Moe Naing, who had was arrested last week after security forces crashed his motorcycle.

Security forces arrested Wai Moe Naing and sent him to a military base following a rally in Monywa on April 15. Photos of his beaten and bruised face have spread. transmit and cause everyone’s anger.

“People are writing Wai Moe Naing’s name on the palm of their hand,” said the young protester. “Our boycott committee will work to release all those who have been wrongfully arrested.”

According to Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, the military’s crackdown on protesters has displaced nearly a quarter of a million people.

“Shocked to learn that in addition to killing at least 737 people and arresting more than 3,200, military attacks have displaced almost a quarter of a million Burmese people, according to sources,” he wrote. on Twitter. “The world must act immediately to resolve this humanitarian disaster.”

Witnesses said at least 10 people were killed when government forces opened fire on locals Wednesday night in the Sagaing region. Gunshots started as local residents stopped some 200 military soldiers from raiding the villages after security forces swept the crowd with drones.

“After completing an aerial survey with a drone, they bombarded the area seven times,” said an unnamed witness. “People are scattered here and there to hide, and the army has flooded in.”

The RFA was unable to contact military spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun for comment.

myanmar-against coup-protesters-poster-yangon-apr21-2021.jpg
Myanmar anti-coup protesters place slogan posters on trees along a road during protests in Yangon, April 21, 2021. Source: Associated Press

Eliminate evil forces

People in Mandalay and other cities and towns across Myanmar continue to beat pots and pans every day at 8 p.m. as a ritual to ward off armies they perceive as an evil force.

Police arrested a man pounding a pot on the veranda of his home in Chanayethazan town on Wednesday night. A person close to the man’s family said he was released Thursday morning after he signed a written pledge not to repeat the act.

Security forces targeting 18 to 30-year-olds arrested more than 80 young people from April 17 to 19 without providing evidence of misconduct, protesters in various cities said. .

Soldiers and police routinely check public transport routes and force young men to take off their shirts for tattoos supporting Aung San Suu Kyi or the Spring Revolution, as the protest movement is known. coming locally, they say.

Residents also said they believe arrests made to prevent young men from joining the federal army are proposed to rebel against the military regime.

A local woman said: “If they want to get protesters, they should get arrested during the demonstrations. “But now, it’s not even safe to walk on the street.”

“They check people on the street for weapons and other things,” she said. “They are fearful people, people who are afraid of being killed.”

Police and soldiers also arrested 14 protesters after the march in Yangon’s Insein town, she added.

Myanmar anti-coup protesters hold sunflowers during a rally in Dawei, Thanintharyi region of southern Myanmar, April 21, 2021. Credit: AFP / Dawei Watch

Arrested after the bomb explosion

In the town of Yankin, a suburb of Yangon, security forces arrested more than 30 young people on April 17 on suspicion of being involved in bomb explosions at the Office of the General Administration of Administration, killing one police and three Another was injured, residents said.

A young woman who regularly participates in the protests in Yangon told RFA: “There have been reports of young people forming a resistance. Young people in the Ayeyarwady region have created a group called the Ayeyarwady Federal Army, she said.

“There are similar groups in some towns,” she added. “Maybe that’s why they target young people.”

According to one resident, dozens of young people and bystanders were arrested Monday during a crackdown on the protest in the Mandalay town of Nyaung-U.

The National United Government (NUG), a shadow government made up of democratically elected officials and lawmakers formed on April 16, discussed the creation of a self-defense force. defense against the military – a move some ethnic armed groups say they will support.

The Association for Supporting Political Prisoners (AAPP), a Thailand-based human rights group, said as of Wednesday 739 people have been killed in violent persecution, while another 3,331 are being detention.

Report of RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translation by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.



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