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Myanmar coup: Senior politician close to Aung San Suu Kyi arrested in crackdown

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A politician who has called for civil disobedience against the military coup in Myanmar has become the latest senior figure to be arrested.

Win Htein, 79, was held at his home in Yangon and taken to the capital Naypyitaw, according to a spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Mr Htein, a long-term confidante of Ms Suu Kyi, said he was being detained for sedition, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“They don’t like what I’ve been talking about. They are afraid of what I’m saying,” he told the BBC.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said at least 133 officials or politicians and 14 activists had been detained by the military in connection with its takeover on Monday.

The online platform had become the primary tool used to share information because traditional media is state-controlled in Myanmar.

Despite the block on the social media giant signs of resistance continue, with teachers becoming the latest group to join a civil disobedience campaign on Friday, as the NLD announced it would help those arrested or sacked for opposing the military takeover.

Medical personnel have declared they will not work for the military administration, and anti-coup graffiti has appeared in the city of Yangon.

There have also been flash protests on the streets, including one outside a medical school in Mandalay.

Three people were arrested there, and unverified Twitter posts said people were also held following the protests in Yangon.

In contrast, thousands of people joined a rally in Naypyitaw supporting the coup on Thursday, in what may be an attempt to project an image of popular acceptance of the coup.

The military’s seizure of power has attracted international condemnation.

US President Joe Biden said military leaders should “relinquish power they have seized” and “release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained”.

The UN Security Council stressed the “need to uphold democratic institutions and processes”.

The military has claimed its actions are legal and constitutional because Ms Suu Kyi’s government had allegedly refused to address voting irregularities.

But the state election commission has refuted the allegations and confirmed Ms Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory. – Sky News 

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