Multiple arrests were made in Yangon on Sunday following calls for a public show of support for Myanmar’s resistance movement in the wake of last week’s execution of four activists.
Arrests were reported in at least four townships in the city, as people banged pots and pans or honked horns in protest at the latest escalation of regime violence against dissidents.
The protests, set for 10:37am on Sunday, were part of a “pledge to the revolution” campaign by the civilian National Unity Government and other anti-junta forces.
According to police sources, the largest number of arrests were made in Hlaing Township, where at least six people were reportedly taken into custody.
Hlaing Info, a Facebook page that reports on news in the township, confirmed that two youths had been apprehended there at a teashop on Mae Zi Gone Road, as the shop’s owner and waiters were forced to kneel on the ground.
Information regarding the other arrests in the township was not available at the time of reporting.
In Bahan Township, at least two arrests were reported, including one of a man living on the old Sayarsan Market Road who was detained on Sunday night for allegedly banging pots.
“They knew exactly where he lived. He was arrested at around midnight, and the military returned again in the morning to search his home,” said a resident of the man’s neighbourhood.
The other arrest took place on Mawlamyine Street, where a man was taken away in a prison vehicle by around 10 junta troops. It was unclear, however, if the arrest was related to Sunday’s protests.
In Kamayut Township, three people were arrested at a market at around 11am, shortly after the start of the protests, according to a local source.
“The first one was an old guy from the tailor shop. He was handcuffed and taken away by soldiers as soon as he started honking a horn. The other two were a couple who sold fish in the market,” the source said.
Another arrest was reported in Pazundaung Township, where a young man was beaten and detained for blowing the horn of his car, sources said.
Residents of Yangon said that soldiers with machine guns could be seen patrolling a number of areas and questioning pedestrians during the protest period.
Flyers warning the public that their property could be seized if they take part in the protest were also seen circulating in several parts of the city, according to residents.
While shows of resistance to the regime were dealt with harshly, incidents involving attacks on the families of Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zayar Thaw, two of the four prisoners executed on the weekend of July 23, escaped unpunished last week.
Protests expressing support for the executions were also given full protection when they were held in front on Yangon’s City Hall last Friday.