At least 147 arrested in Myanmar since coup, says activist group

A group of protesters holding a demonstration in Mandalay, on Feb 4, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

MANDALAY (REUTERS) - At least 147 people have been detained in Myanmar since this week's coup, including activists, lawmakers and officials from the ousted government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said on Thursday.

The AAPP, which has tracked political detainees in Myanmar since the era of the previous junta, said 133 officials or lawmakers and 14 civil society activists were being held.

Meanwhile, the authorities on Thursday (Feb 4) arrested at least three people after a protest in the second-biggest city Mandalay against this week's coup, activist groups said.

The demonstration was the first such street protest against this week's army takeover that ousted Ms San Suu Kyi's elected administration.

The arrests were confirmed by student activists from three groups, based in Mandalay and Yangon.

Images on social media showed protesters waving banners and chanted anti-coup slogans in Mandalay.

A video on Facebook showed around 20 people outside Mandalay Medical University.

One banner read, "People protest against military coup".

"Our arrested leaders, release now, release now," the protesters chanted.

Myanmar's army seized power on Monday, overthrowing popular elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is detained and now faces possible charges for import infringements over the alleged possession of six unauthorised walkie-talkies.

The junta has a history of bloody suppression of street protests in Myanmar.

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