Myanmar navy blocks Fb, social media as strain grows | Censorship Information

The Myanmar military government blocked Facebook and other social media platforms – important sources of communication for the population – on Thursday in an attempt to suppress dissent after the country’s elected leaders were arrested and taken power in a coup led by the chief of the United Nations said it must fail.

Facebook, used by roughly half of Myanmar’s 53 million people, has emerged as a key platform in opposing Monday’s coup. Photos of campaigns against civil disobedience and nightly pot-and-pan protests are common.

The Department of Communications and Transport said the restrictions would remain in place until February 7.

“Currently, the people who question the stability of the country are spreading … false news and misinformation and creating misunderstandings among the people by using Facebook,” the ministry said in a letter.

The move to silence online activity came after police filed charges against former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has not been seen since she was detained in the early hours of Monday for illegally importing communications equipment. and as the United Nations said, do everything possible to mobilize an international response to the military takeover.

NetBlocks, which monitors online services around the world, said government internet service provider MPT’s restrictions on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp have extended to other providers. People were using VPNs to bypass the blocks, it said.

“Facebook products are now limited to multiple ISPs in #Myanmar as the operators have an obvious blocking policy,” wrote Netblocks on Twitter.

Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, confirmed the disruption.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone called on the authorities to restore connectivity “so that the people of Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information”.

Facebook is THE Internet in Myanmar #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar

– Verena Hölzl (@verenahoelzl) February 4, 2021

Telcom Law Article 77 is used to block #facebook

That is exactly why we have been cracking down on the NLD-led parliament for the last 4 years to get rid of these articles. But they didn’t. Now the military is using them to do exactly what we were worried about. 😖😡

– Thinzar Shunlei Yi (@thinzashunleiyi) February 4, 2021

Telcom Law Article 77 is used to block #facebook

That is exactly why we have been cracking down on the NLD-led parliament for the last 4 years to get rid of these articles. But they didn’t. Now the military is using them to do exactly what we were worried about. 😖😡

– Thinzar Shunlei Yi (@thinzashunleiyi) February 4, 2021

Most of the people in Myanmar use their mobile phones to access Facebook. This is also an important communication tool for companies and authorities. It has also been linked to hate speech and disinformation.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD), is under house arrest in the capital Naypyidaw, according to her party, but the generals have not commented on her whereabouts.

According to the election commission, the NLD won around 80 percent of the vote in polls on November 8, but the military refused to accept the result, raising unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

The United Nations said it would increase international pressure to make sure the will of the people is respected.

“We will do everything we can to mobilize all the key players and the international community to put enough pressure on Myanmar to ensure that this coup fails,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during an interview Wednesday broadcast by The Washington Post newspaper.

Armored vehicles of the Myanmar Army on the streets of Mandalay after the military took power on Monday. UN chief Antonio Guterres says the UN will do everything possible to ensure the coup fails [Stringer/Reuters]”It’s absolutely unacceptable after elections – elections that I believe took place normally – and after a major transition period.”

On Thursday there were reports of the first street protest against the coup in Mandalay City, Myanmar’s second largest city. The riot police broke off a small demonstration and people have fled in all directions, according to the news website Myanmar Now.

“Ridiculous” allegations

Police said a search of Aung San Suu Kyi’s home in Naypyidaw found six walkie-talkie radios claiming they were illegally imported and used without permission.

ASEAN Human Rights MPs (APHR), a group of lawmakers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, called the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi ridiculous.

“This is an absurd move by the junta to try to legitimize its illegal takeover,” said APHR Chairman and Malaysian MP Charles Santiago in a statement calling on the international community to intervene.

“We have been here before. ASEAN and the international community all know where this is going: back to ruthless military dictatorship. “

In court documents, police requested that Aung San Suu Kyi be detained “to interview witnesses, seek evidence and seek legal counsel after questioning the accused”.

A separate document showed that police were also bringing charges against President Win Myint, also arrested on Monday, for violating protocols to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

As the leader of the democracy movement in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest for about 15 years between 1989 and 2010 and remains hugely popular at home, although her international reputation has been damaged due to the plight of the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya.

The military ruled Myanmar from 1962 until the NLD came to power in 2015 according to a constitution drawn up by the generals, guaranteeing them 25 percent of all seats in parliament and a leading role in government.

The junta, headed by Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing, has declared a year-long state of emergency and new elections without specifying a timetable.

On Twitter, which was still available in Myanmar, #CivilDisobedienceMovement was the country’s most popular hashtag. Close behind was #JusticeForMyanmar.

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