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Myanmar military coup: Curfew imposed in 7 townships of Mandalay

ANI | Updated: Feb 08, 2021 19:14 IST

Naypyidaw [Myanmar], February 8 (ANI): Days after the military coup in Myanmar, curfew has been imposed in seven townships in the country's second-biggest city, Mandalay, to stop the people from protesting against the junta rule.

According to a report by The Myanmar Times, curfew from 8 pm to 4 am was imposed on Monday in seven townships in Mandalay -- Aung Myay Tharzan, Maha Aung Myay, Amarapura, Patheingyi, Pyigyitakon, Chan Aye Tharzan and Chan Myay Tharzi.

Some  media reports said that martial law has been imposed in the seven townships in Myanmar.

As per the order issued by each town's General Administration Department, public gatherings of more than five people, delivering speeches and protests have been banned.

Action can be taken against the violators under Section 144 of the Penal Code, The Myanmar Times reported.

Similar orders have been given in other divisions of Mandalay -- Myingyan, Monywa, Shwebo and Sagaing.

Thousands of people continue to participate in protest marches across the country calling for the release of detainees.

Since the start of the protest, hundreds of people including political leaders, government employees, and students have been detained, NHK World reported citing a Myanmar-based human rights group. In coming days, demonstrators are planning to hold more rallies across Myanmar.

According to media reports cited by United Nations, scores of people took to the streets in Yangon last week to protest the military's takeover and the arrest of several elected leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

"Myanmar's military and police must ensure the right to peaceful assembly is fully respected and demonstrators are not subjected to reprisals," Office of the Human Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had said in a tweet.

Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had raised concerns of a "violent crackdown on dissenting voices" in Myanmar and reminded the military leadership of the country's obligations under international human rights law to ensure people's rights are protected and to refrain from using unnecessary or excessive force.

The military takeover followed escalating tensions between the military and the government after the November 2020 elections, which was won by Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD).

The polls were only the second democratic elections in Myanmar since the end of nearly five decades of military rule. The first elections, in 2015, were also won by NLD.

The OHCHR also called on the authorities to restore internet and communication services. "Internet and communication services must be fully restored to ensure freedom of expression and access to information," the office said.

Myanmar's military reportedly blocked access to Facebook last week for several days. The social media platform is said to be used by around half of the country's population, for access to information.

Media reports also said the mobile service provider in Myanmar was ordered to temporarily shut down data networks, effectively cutting off the internet on mobile devices. Voice and SMS services are reported to be operational. (ANI)