Yangon, activists and trapped students freed; 40 arrested (PHOTO)
by Francis Khoo Thwe

The majority of arrested are university students. Citizens try to distract soldiers from conducting searches. Demonstrations in North Okkalapa (Yangon), Loikaw, Pekhon, Monywa. In Loikaw a priest tried to stop the military. Five media licenses revoked. Raids on newsrooms.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - After a night blocked by the security forces at gunpoint in the Sanchaung neighbourhood, most of the trapped activists and students managed to escape this morning.

According to eyewitnesses the soldiers withdrew around 6 in the morning. But not everyone is free. A list of 40 people has been posted to social media, mostly students from East Yangon University, who were arrested (photo 2).

Yesterday, in an attempt to reduce pressure on activists in Sanchaung, several groups organized impromptu demonstrations to distract law enforcement.

So far, the junta has killed over 60 people and arrested at least 2,000. But violence as a deterrent does not seem to stop the population. Even today there are demonstrations in many cities. In North Okkalapa (Yangon), medical university students have called for the release of the minister of the democratic government Zaw Wai Soe (photo 3).

In Loikaw, a priest went to deal with them to prevent the police from making violence against the demonstrators (photo 1). In Pekhon, the Catholic community organized a Eucharistic procession. The regime has banned any gathering of more than five people, but hundreds gathered at the procession. Hundreds more demonstrated in Monywa (photo 4).

Due to the general strike and the civil disobedience movement, the country’s economy is in chaos and this explains the frustration of the military junta. In addition to an increasingly high level of violence, yesterday, the military government revoked the licenses of five local newspapers and agencies: Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now and 7Day News. Until now, they had succeeded in following the protests, posting articles, photos and videos.

In a statement published on Facebook, Mizzima says it "will continue to fight against the military coup by publishing and disseminating through multimedia platforms".

Prior to the revocation, Myanmar Now broke the news that their office in downtown Yangon had been subjected to a raid by the military and police. Computers, other tools and data were seized.