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Fears grow for Myanmar residents in areas sealed off by military

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This week, General Min Aung HlaingForces imposed martial law on six areas of Yangon after the bloodiest day of violence against protesters against the coup amid arson attacks Factories funded by China carried out by unknown groups. Martial law was also imposed in some parts of Mandalay’s second city, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Data from mobile networks across the country fell for a second day on Wednesday, Internet monitoring service Netblocks reported. With so little information coming out, it is difficult for news organizations and human rights and human rights groups to assess and verify the current situation.

Protesters and journalists have relied on their mobile phones to broadcast live demonstrations and document police crackdowns, and the suppression of information by the military has raised fears that it could lead to more human rights abuses, killings and arbitrary detentions. .

“With the Internet closed, people in areas sealed by the military and police do not have access to the outside world,” said John Quinley, a senior human rights specialist at the rights group Fortify Rights. “The board is trying to prevent any information about the violence they are committing from disappearing. The board is trying to create a total shutdown.”

Security forces reportedly opened fire on several sites in Yangon shortly after midnight on Wednesday and several people were reported injured. Meanwhile, barricades made by city residents were also removed.

More than 200 people have been killed since the coup, according to the advocacy group of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP). At least 74 people died on Sunday alone and 20 more died on Monday, according to the group. Mass funerals were held for many of the dead in Yangon on Tuesday.

Activists have highlighted the particular concern of those in the Yangon district of Hlaingthaya, a poor industrial district in the northwest of the city that hosts many immigrants and factory workers. One of Yangon’s largest districts and a protest stronghold, it suffered the weight of the victims on Sunday and several Chinese-owned factories were set on fire there.

Protesters cover themselves behind home shields as they confront police during cracking down on protests against the military coup in Yangon on March 16.
Thousands fled Hlaingthaya on Tuesday after being subjected to martial law, according to Reuters and local media Myanmar border. The images showed residents carrying their belongings while packing in cars, tuk tuks and trucks.

Speaking to Reuters, a labor organizer in Hlaingthaya said: “This is like a war zone, they are firing everywhere,” adding that most residents were too scared to leave.

Two doctors told Reuters that there were injured people who needed medical attention in the area, but the army had sealed their tickets.

Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights, said on Twitter that more killings were reported in Hlaingthaya on Tuesday, but emergency vehicles were unable to enter the area due to traffic barriers.

Local media have reported a strong police presence in the six municipalities of Yangon under martial law. Now anyone arrested in these areas can be tried by military courts, with sentences that include imprisonment, forced labor and the death penalty, seconds and Human Rights Watch.

Martial law under the junta regime means the military commander of the Yangon region has “full administrative and judicial authority” in the districts where martial law is declared, local media Myanmar Now reported.

“Indeed, martial law means that the military has complete control over these areas, rather than working through civilian administrators or judges,” said Melissa Crouch, a law professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia. and author of “The Constitution of Myanmar,” on your website.
People in cars and trucks flee Hlaingtharya municipality in Yangon on March 16, while security forces continue to crack down on protests in the area.

In the past, these trials used to be held behind closed doors, out of public control or proper procedure, and the conviction was almost certain.

“All of this ensures the legal processes that will deprive many of those accused by the peaceful opposition to the military government of their basic rights to a fair trial, including the right to appeal,” said Linda Lakhdhir, legal adviser to the military division. Human Rights Watch Asia, in a report.

Min Aung Hlaing, at Myanmar’s state-run Global New Light mouthpiece, said martial law was imposed after the protests “turned into riots and violence”.

“There were violent acts in some areas, such as the burning of public goods and factories. Therefore, the security forces had to deal with the situation very hard. The protesters stormed the police stations and administrative offices and burned factories. “, says the report.

Opposition to the Myanmar junta continues to spread. On Wednesday, the nation’s most powerful Buddhist-majority religious body said it would end support for the military by halting all activities, according to Myanmar Now.

An abbot told the news agency the Sangha Maha Nayaka State Committee (MaHaNa), a high-ranking body of Buddhist monks appointed by the government overseeing the country’s monasticism, called on the authorities to end the ” violent arrests, torture and killings of unarmed civilians “” and to “prevent the looting and destruction of public property”.

It comes when the Board accused the UN envoy representing the now-dissolved parliament of Myanmar of treason, a charge that carries the death penalty.

In response, Dr. Sasa, who is out of the country, said he is “proud to have been accused of treason by the military junta,” in a statement posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“It is these generals who have committed acts of treason every day. Taking what they want for themselves, denying the rights of citizens and oppressing those who interpose them,” he said.

The impact of the coup and civil disobedience, which has altered parts of the country’s economy, is beginning to sting. On Tuesday, the UN World Food Program said rising food and fuel prices are undermining the ability of the country’s poorest to feed themselves and their families.

“This rise in food and fuel prices is exacerbated by the near paralysis of the banking sector, the slowdown in remittances and widespread limits on cash availability,” WFP said.

CNN’s Angus Watson and Akanksha Sharma contributed to the information.

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