The generals who took power in a coup three months ago are trying to further isolate the country amid continued opposition to their government.
Myanmar’s military-controlled media have announced a ban on satellite TV antennas, saying external broadcasts threaten national security as generals who took power in a coup on February 1 accused a Japanese journalist of spreading fake news.
“Satellite TV is no longer legal. Anyone who violates the television and video law, especially people who use satellite dishes, will be punished with one year in prison and a fine of 500,000 kyat ($ 320), “MRTV state television said on Tuesday.
“Illegal media broadcast news that harms national security, the rule of law and public order and encourages those who commit treason.”
The generals, led by army chief Min Aung Hlaing, arrested elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of his government on February 1 while taking power, ending Myanmar’s slow movement towards democracy. .
Confirmed: Mobile data has been truncated #Myanmar for 50 days and online platforms remain severely restricted, limiting press freedom at a critical time for the country’s future 📵#WorldPressFreedomDay#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar
– NetBlocks (@netblocks) May 3, 2021
Since then, the country has been in a state of turbulence, with more than 760 people dead as security forces struggle to quell nearly daily demonstrations against their government.
They have cut off mobile Internet access, forced the independent media to shut down and arrested journalists. Currently, at least 50 are detained.
Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi, who was arrested a second time last month, was charged Monday.
Kitazumi is the first foreign journalist charged since the coup. A Polish photographer arrested while covering a protest in March was released and deported after nearly two weeks in detention.
Japan, for years giving maximum aid to Myanmar, is pushing for the release of Kitazumi.
“Naturally, we will continue to do everything possible for the early release of the Japanese national’s detention,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Japanese journalists during a trip to Britain, according to national channel NHK.
Pro-democracy rallies have continued despite the military’s efforts to end the opposition.
On Tuesday, protesters gathered in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city, and education staff called for a boycott of schools and universities when they reopened in June, Myanmar Now news agency reported.
Local media reported that five people were killed by at least one partial bomb on Tuesday, including a downed lawmaker and three police officers who had joined the civil disobedience movement against the military government.
Meanwhile, the Chinland Defense Force, a newly formed militia in the Chinese state bordering India, said on its Facebook page on Tuesday that its forces had killed at least four Myanmar army soldiers. and had wounded ten in a confrontation during the night.
The Myanmar army did not comment on the claim.
Villagers had found the beheaded body of a local military-appointed administrator in the northwestern region of Sagaing, independent station DVB reported, a day after another local official was killed in the largest city, Yangon. .
Reuters news agency was unable to contact local police for comment.
The army has defended its takeover, alleging fraud in the November elections, which won Aung San Suu Kyi’s party in stages, and has condemned protesters as rioters and terrorists.