Myanmar coup sees prominent political and cultural figures arrested – Deadline

Military forces have taken control of the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, citing disputed allegations of electoral fraud and throwing many prominent figures in jail.

Among those to be imprisoned is Nobel Prize-winning politician Aung San Suu Kyi, who helped the country move to democracy in the 2010s and who ruled the country as a state councilor.

Reporting from Myanmar has been hampered by the disruption of telephone and internet services by the military, and local TV channels are also disabled, but several publications have written that others suspected of having been detained include the Filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, who previously spent time behind bars as a political prisoner for his criticism of the military and writer Maung Thar Cho.

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Tensions have been mounting in the country since the November elections which saw a landslide victory for Suu Kyi’s political party, the NLD, the USDP army-backed party losing ground.

The military said it found irregularities in the voting process – a charge disputed by the country’s electoral commission.

“Although the sovereignty of the nation must derive from the people, there has been terrible fraud in the electoral list during the democratic general elections, which goes against the guarantee of a stable democracy”, it reads in an army statement, reported by Reuters.

Following the coup, which was timed with the resumption of Parliament, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing took power and a one-year state of emergency was declared.

There were protests against the coup in neighboring Thailand today, with protesters clashing with riot police; the Thai government said the action was an internal Myanmar affair, according to local reports.

The military’s action has been widely condemned by the global political community.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of Suu Kyi and others, saying the country was “gravely concerned and alarmed” by the reports. “The United States supports the Burmese people in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace and development. The army must cancel these actions immediately, ”he said.

The Australian government also released a statement saying it was “deeply concerned” by the news.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted the message below:

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