Asia - Pacific

At least 766 killed since coup in Myanmar: Rights group

Freedom of press collapsed since coup, says Assistance Association for Political Prisoners

Devina Halim   | 04.05.2021
At least 766 killed since coup in Myanmar: Rights group

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Myanmar junta killed one more civilian, taking the death toll since protests began against the Feb. 1 military coup to 766, according to a local monitoring group.

The junta detained 3,614 people, with 83 of them having been convicted, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said in its latest report late Monday.

Pro-democracy protests have taken place in cities and towns across the country since the coup d'état.

The military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, detained her and other leaders of the National League for Democracy, then cracked down with lethal force on anti-coup protesters.

Suu Kyi's party won a second term last November, but the military said rigging in the polls had forced it to seize power.

Marking the May 3 World Press Freedom Day, the group said press freedom in the Southeast Asian country "has collapsed since the coup."

As many as 50 journalists are currently detained, 25 of whom have been prosecuted, it said, adding that two journalists are awaiting bail, while 29 others are evading arrest warrants.

“Freedom of press will disintegrate and journalists will be persecuted as long as we have a dictatorship."

Meanwhile, a Japanese freelance journalist detained by security forces in Myanmar in mid-April has been indicted on a charge of spreading “fake news,” the Kyodo news agency quoted the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar as saying.

Yuki Kitazumi, 45, could face a jail term of up to three years if convicted under the penal code amended after the February coup.

Kitazumi was arrested and taken from his home in Myanmar's largest city Yangon on April 18. He is being held in prison.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in Jakarta

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.