Myanmar authorities snatched a doctor from his clinic and rounded up bureaucrats as the ruling junta moved to arrest professionals and state staffers for joining days of growing mass protests against military rule in scores of cities across the country in defiance of crowd limits, curfews, and increasing shows of force by police.
Crowds in the big cities of Yangon, Mandalay, and the capital Naypyidaw have topped six figures for several days, and were still growing on the 12th day since the military deposed and arrested leader Aung San Suu Kyi, suspended parliament, and imposed a one-year period of emergency rule.
U.N. rights officials are tracking more than 350 politicians and state officials, activists, civil society members, journalists, monks, and students who have been taken into custody, Nada Al-Nashif, deputy U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said Friday.
The Feb. 1 seizure of power by the military over claims that last November’s election was fraudulent “constitutes a profound setback for the country, after a decade of hard-won gains in its democratic transition,” she said.
The junta has detained 220 government officials and members of civil society, including Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and members of the Union Election Commission, said Thomas Andrews, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.
“Many of these detentions have occurred in the dark of night and many times by plain-clothed police,” he told a special session on Myanmar at the Human Rights Council on Friday.
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Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung and Khun Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
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