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Myanmar Military Cuts Off Internet Service

Human Rights Watch says junta has disappeared hundreds of coup opponents
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2021 12:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Myanmar's wireless broadband internet services were shut down on Friday by order of the military, a local provider said, as protesters continued to defy the threat of lethal violence to oppose the junta's takeover. A directive from the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Thursday instructed that "all wireless broadband data services be temporarily suspended until further notice," according to a statement posted online by local provider Ooredoo. Fiber-based landline internet connections were still working, albeit at drastically reduced speeds, the AP reports. Human Rights Watch issued a report Friday saying that Myanmar's military has forcibly disappeared hundreds of people, including politicians, election officials, journalists, activists, and protesters and refused to confirm their location or allow access to lawyers or family members.

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The crisis in the Southeast Asian nation has expanded sharply in the past week, both in the number of protesters killed and with military airstrikes against the guerrilla forces of the Karen ethnic minority in their homeland along the border with Thailand. The UN Security Council late Thursday strongly condemned the use of violence against peaceful protesters. The press statement was unanimous but weaker than a draft that would have expressed its "readiness to consider further steps," which could include sanctions. China and Russia, both permanent Council members and both arms suppliers to Myanmar's military, have generally opposed sanctions. (Last Saturday, security forces killed nearly 100 protesters.)

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