By Conor Phelan*
The government has restricted access to social media and the internet. On the 4th of February, popular social media sites Facebook, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp were blocked, followed quickly by Twitter and Instagram. The military appointed State Administration Council imposed nationwide internet blockades, regularly lasting from 1am to 9am, since February 15.
The government’s attempt to supress online discussion, by cutting off power and internet as well as heavy censorship of social media, has caused a backlash, with groups such as Rap Against Junta (RAJ) posting music and media, detailing the horrific violence experienced daily by protestors, onto YouTube and other platforms.
Lee Coup, a song written by RAJ artist 882021, displays disturbing images, showing the brutality and violence used against activists. For the song click here.
The words “REST IN PEACE TO EVERYONE THAT HAS LOST THEIR LIFE. YOUR DEATHS WILL NOT BE IN VAIN. THE REVOLUTION MUST SUCCEED” are displayed against a plain black background at the end of the music video, a powerful statement reflecting the strength of the Burmese people.
Despite universal condemnation the military continues to arrest and torture those speaking out against it, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported 48 journalists are in detention and AAPP (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners) has released figures as of 29th of June the total number of arrested has reached 6421.
A senior journalist, with a warrant out for his arrest for a breach of section 505 (a), told Karen News “the army continues to hunt activists, activists and journalists.” The journalists said no one is safe while the military and their “puppet State Administration Council are in control of the country.”
In it is five months since the coup and the military continues to terrorise the citizens of Burma – killing civilians with impunity, mass incarceration, torture, genocide, censorship and violence. Despite its killings, torture, jailing of its political opposition people remain determined to fight back. Protestors have joined with armed ethnic organisations, journalists continue to report, musicians record and activists find ways to show defiance.
*Conor Phelan is a journalist intern with Karen News