As Coup Resistance Grows, Myanmar Blocks Facebook

Move follows calls for civil disobedience
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2021 12:01 AM CST
As Coup Resistance Grows, Myanmar Blocks Facebook
A convoy of army vehicles patrols the streets of Mandalay, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.   (AP Photo)

Myanmar’s new military government blocked access to Facebook on Wednesday as resistance to Monday’s coup surged amid calls for civil disobedience to protest the ousting of the elected civilian government and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Facebook is especially popular in Myanmar and the ousted government had commonly made public announcements on the social media site. Internet users said the disruption began late Wednesday night, and mobile service provider Telenor Myanmar confirmed in a statement that mobile operators and internet service providers in Myanmar had received a directive from the communications ministry to temporarily block Facebook, the AP reports.

Telenor Myanmar, which is part of the Norwegian Telenor Group, said it would comply, though it was concerned the order was a breach of human rights. "We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with family and friends and access important information,” said a Facebook spokesperson." The political party ousted in Monday's coup and other activists in Myanmar have called for a campaign of civil disobedience to oppose the takeover. In the vanguard are medical personnel, who have declared they won’t work for the military government. For a second night Wednesday, residents in Yangon engaged in "noise protests," with people banging pots and pans and honking car horns under cover of darkness. (Suu Kyi's party says she is being charged with possessing illegally imported walkie-talkies.)

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