Internet cuts in Myanmar, and access to social media blocked

It is the NGO NetBlocks, which monitors the Internet, that is reporting blackouts. On Friday evening, access to social media, Twitter and Instagram, was restricted to silence opponents of the coup. The hashtags # WeNeedDemocracy, #HeartheVoiceofMyanmar, #Freedomfromfear have been shared collectively on social media. Norwegian Telenor Group, one of the country’s main telecom operators, confirmed that the authorities had requested that the platforms be blocked “until further notice”. Previously, access to Facebook was also limited.

Myanmar are now trying to circumvent censorship with VPNs, which allow them to bypass restrictions based on their geographic location.

On Saturday, nearly a thousand people took to the streets in Rangoon, Myanmar. It is the largest demonstration since the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s government earlier this week. The demonstrators carried flags of the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy. And they chanted slogans like “Get rid of military dictatorship.”

Meanwhile, Christine Schraner Burgener, the UN special envoy to Myanmar, has made initial contacts with the military. On Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it had stressed that the United Nations wanted to end the coup and release imprisoned politicians. However, the UN Security Council did not officially condemn the coup, as China and Russia used their veto power against it.

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Denton Watson

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