Myanmar: authorities respond with violence, threats and arrest to anti-coup protestEvent
- Initial Date
- Feb 15, 2021
- Event Description
Yesterday, on 14 February the coup government passed the “Law Amending the Penal Code’ and the ‘Law Amending the Code of Criminal Procedure’. The recently passed Acts amend multiple articles of the colonial-era Penal Code. The Penal Code was already the most common legislation used to target political prisoners prior to the coup. Civil society had wanted the archaic legislation reformed, it has now become more arbitrary.
The recent amendments will be aimed at the civil disobedience movement, changing the definition and charge of high treason as well as further persecuting public assembly and disseminating information.
Some of these amendments include Section 121 which essentially could criminalize requesting international aid and/or support. Also Section 124A was substituted to cover ‘spoken and written signs’ which bring ‘contempt’ and such to the Union. This could now include pamphlets calling the military an illegitimate ‘coup’, ‘junta’ ‘regime’. Amendments to Section 124C now cover the ‘sabotage or hinder the performance’ of military or police acts. This could be used against recordings of “Drumming out of Evil” peaceful protestors when night-time raids are conducted, or when community groups try to protest arbitrary detentions, or when groups support public servants striking and taking part in demonstrations.
Amendments to Section 505A add several offences, such as spreading ‘fake’ news, or ‘fear’ amongst the public, as well as ‘agitate’ directly or indirectly a criminal offence towards a government employee. Also detailed was imprisonment terms, with Section 124A and C covering a maximum 20 year sentence and fine and Section 505A with a maximum three-year imprisonment and fine.
Today, protests against the coup erupted across Burma where people from respective regions peacefully demonstrated. Civil servants across the country including in Yangon, Mandalay cooperated increasingly with the civil disobedience movement (CDM). Despite tanks and military vehicles roaming the streets, demonstrations went on.
On 15 February from 1:00am to 9am, internet connection was shut down under military directives. There is suspicion this blackout was to commit unjust activities including arbitrary arrests. Also today, in front of the NLD headquarters, the police attempted to raid the offices and blocked roads. However, they withdrew after a two hour-long demonstration by the people.
On February 15, the police force dispersed with violence, threats, and arrests, peaceful protestors in Mandalay City, the security forces beat, arrested and shot gunfire towards peaceful protestors demonstrating in front of Myanmar Economic Bank 1. Six people including two girls aged 17 were arrested. Subsequently, the reporters reported at the event were brutally beaten by security forces.
For detentions in relation to the coup. As of February 15, a total of (426) people have been arrested and detained in relation to the military coup on February 1. Of them, (3) have been sentenced, 2 to two years imprisonment, 1 to three months, (35) were released. A total of (391) are still under detention, including the (3) sentenced.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Intimidation and Threats
- Judicial Harassment
- Use of Excessive Force
- Violence (physical)
- Wounds and Injuries
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 15 February 2021, pro-democracy defenders faced violence and intimidation by the police, 6 including 2 minor WHRDs were arrested in response to their anti-coup protests in Mandalay, Myanmar.