Opponents of Myanmar's military coup demonstrated mass protests for an eighth consecutive day this weekend amid continuous arrests of junta critics that have further added to anger particularly over the detention of the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
But amid the unrest, the military stands tall against all odds, defending its actions because of what it refers to as an alleged fraud in a November election during which Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party secured a landslide victory, the complaints which were however dismissed by the country's electoral commission.
Now, as the resistance against the junta is growing stronger with thousands of people had joined the demonstrations in parts of Myanmar, internet band and a crackdown on social media, the military dictatorship, in a turn of fresh threats, has warned Myanmar Press Council from referring Senior General Min Aung Hlaing's junta as a "coup government" and anybody who does so would be violating media ethics.
Frontier Myanmar, a leading local news and business magazine, said on its official Twitter handle earlier today that the junta has levelled charges against the private media since the coup, further stating in a letter that journalists those who refused to comply with the orders could face criminal charges, and publications could have their licenses revoked.
Stop kidnapping at night
The United Nations human rights office said on Friday that over 350 people, including officials, activists and monks, have been arrested in Myanmar since the coup that took place in February 1, including those who are reportedly facing criminal charges on "dubious grounds".
As per local media reports, tens and thousands from across the city assembled in Yangon, on Saturday while others took to streets in capital Naypyitaw, the second city Mandalay and other towns.
"Stop kidnapping at night," a placard read that was held high by a protester in Yangon in response to arrest raids in recent days.
People's anger has been fuelled by videos uploaded on social media that showed more arrests of government critics – including a doctor who was part of the civil disobedience movement. Reports say some arrests have even taken place during the hours of darkness.
Memes, captioned "Our nights aren't safe anymore" and "Myanmar military is kidnapping people at night", are widely circulating, whereas the military hasn't even bothered to respond to the requests for comment on the arrests.
Threat to democracy
The coup has halted a tentative transition to the country's democracy that began in 2011 after nearly half a century of isolation and stagnation under military juntas.
Suu Kyi, who has been known for decades to be the torchbearer in the fight for democracy in the country, even faces charges of illegally importing and using six walkie-talkie radios that were found during a raid of her house.
Last week, the 47-member UN human rights council adopted a resolution calling on the dictatorship to release Suu Kyi, along with officials, and refrain from using violence on protesters.
In addition, the Biden-government has also begun imposing sanctions on the ruling generals and some businesses linked to them.
However, the junta referred to the sentencing of nearly 23,000 prisoners on Friday, claiming the move to be consistent with "establishing a new democratic state with peace, development and discipline".