Fear For Myanmar Residents As Military Seals Off Areas And Imposes Internet Shutdown

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Fear For Myanmar Residents As Military Seals Off Areas And Imposes Internet Shutdown

Concern is growing for the safety of residents in parts of Myanmar's capital after the military moved to seal off several key areas and impose an information blackout.

As part of the blackout mobile phone signals have been cut-off and internet connections have been suppressed. The blackout comes as the Myanmar military carry out violent reprisals against protestors. In recent weeks it is believed that over 250 people have been killed for protesting against the dictatorship. Thousands more have been arrested and taken to detention camps.

Now that the media blackout is in place, it makes it much harder for news organisations and human-rights groups to report and observe what is happening in the city, leading many to believe that it will result in even more violence from the regime.

John Quinley, senior human rights specialist at the rights group Fortify Rights, said of the blackout:

"With the internet shut down, the people inside areas sealed off by the military and police have no access to the outside world. The junta is trying to stop any information about the violence they are committing from getting out. The junta is trying to create a total blackout."

The military regime took control in Myanmar following a coup d'etat on the 1st of February this year. The coup ended 10 years of democracy in Myanmar. The military had formerly run the country for decades. As part of the coup, they arrested Myanmar Prime Minister Aung Sang Suu Kyi who had led the country towards democracy. She now faces trial.

Since martial law has been imposed, some demonstrations have turned violent. The Myanmar military has said that the deaths that have occurred as a result of the military protecting themselves against armed protestors.

Min Aung Hlaing, of a pro-military newsgroup, said:

"Violent acts emerged in some areas, such as burning public property and factories. So, security forces had to handle the situation very hard. The protesters raided police stations and administrative offices and burned factories."

The Myanmar military has a reputation for extreme violence. They have been accused of carrying out an ethnic genocide in the north of the country against the Rohingya people, a mostly Muslim minority group who seek their own independent state. Thousands of the Rohingya have been murdered by the military and as many as 2 million have fled their homes and villages and headed for refugee camps in Bangladesh.

[h/t: CNN]

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Thinking Humanity: Fear For Myanmar Residents As Military Seals Off Areas And Imposes Internet Shutdown
Fear For Myanmar Residents As Military Seals Off Areas And Imposes Internet Shutdown
Concern is growing for the safety of residents in parts of Myanmar's capital after the military moved to seal off several key areas and impose an info
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