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State Counselor, President, and human rights defenders detained in nationwide raids

(YANGON, February 1, 2020)—The Myanmar military should immediately and unconditionally release State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, government ministers, members of parliament, and human rights defenders detained in early morning nationwide raids, said Fortify Rights today. State-run media announced that Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing would take control of the country for 12 months.

“The military needs to urgently de-escalate this situation and unconditionally free those detained today,”said Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights. “The military should cease any further arrests and issue guarantees of the safety and well-being of those detained.”

In the early morning hours today, the Myanmar military reportedly detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, members of parliament, and human rights defenders. The authorities also reportedly cut mobile-communication signals.

“A military coup is underway,” said Matthew Smith. “The military should lift any blocks on mobile communications and respect the right to free expression. Access to information is critical for the Myanmar public right now.”

The Myanmar Parliament was due to convene Monday morning. A National League for Democracy (NLD) party member told Fortify Rights that the military had detained all civilian members of parliament in Naypyidaw.

“The military must respect the results of the 2020 elections and allow the Parliament to convene as scheduled,” said Matthew Smith. “Governments around the world should swiftly condemn the military’s blatant power grab.”

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