Myanmar Situation Update (5-11 July 2021)

The junta’s special court in Naypyitaw on 6 July rejected objections by the defense team of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to the introduction of prosecution evidence against her on a sedition charge with the argument that it failed to follow established judicial procedure. Former Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Bu's trial was conducted online as he is charged under the Section penal code 505-a  Although he said that he was not guilty, the court decided to continue proceeding with the case.

The junta also announced that National League for Democracy (NLD) Vice Chairman Dr. Zaw Myint Maung and the former Mandalay Region Minister of Electricity, Energy and Construction U Zarni Aung have been charged under the Anti-Corruption Law and the former chief minister of the Mandalay Region, Dr Zaw Myint Maung, has been charged with two counts, under the Defamation of the State Act and the Disaster Management Act.

The election commission appointed by the junta announced that 11,305,390 cases of voter fraud were found nationwide in the voter lists of the 315 townships where the 2020 Myanmar general elections were held. It further mentioned that these numbers include those who were on the voter list without a citizenship card, those who were on the voter lists two, three or more times with the same citizenship scrutiny card and citizens below 18 years old and over 100 years old. It is important to note that no evidence has yet been put forward by the junta-appointed UEC to support these allegations.

The NUG’s Ministry of Human Rights has released information regarding the state of press freedom since the coup. Up to 3 July 2021, 32 journalists have been detained, 6 imprisoned, and 3 injured. The junta released 49 journalists but issued arrest warrants for 26 others. It has also revoked the license of 8 media companies. 

More than 11 weeks since the ASEAN leaders met in Jakarta to find a solution for Myanmar has not been able to appoint a special envoy that was part of the five point consensus agreed at the meeting and also the regional body facing criticism for failing to pressurise the Myanmar junta adhere to the five point consensus. The ASEAN sources say there are three nominees - Virasakdi Futrakul, a former Thai deputy foreign minister and veteran diplomat, Hassan Wirajuda, a former Indonesian foreign minister, and Razali Ismail, a Malaysian who was a U.N. special envoy for Myanmar in the 2000s tasked with facilitating national reconciliation and democratization in the country.

Nearly 90 percent of the country has been affected by Myanmar’s third wave of coronavirus infections, with 296 of 330 townships nationwide reporting COVID-19 cases since May. The numbers of confirmed cases are hitting new records of daily rates while the country is facing a shortage of oxygen for patients. 

Norwegian telecom operator Telenor has sold its Myanmar operations to Lebanese investment firm M1 Group for $105 million. According to the Burma Campaign UK, M1 Group was included in “The Dirty List” as it was involved in building the Mytel towers which have been owned by the junta. The digital rights groups say that Telenor's departure from Myanmar would worsen the already limited digital rights that people in Myanmar have. Many International food and fashion franchises have announced the termination of their operations in Myanmar in the last few months since the coup. US pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s, Chinese hot pot chain Little Sheep, and Taiwanese bubble tea franchise Koi are among the biggest names to have announced their branches will be closing permanently. Bridgestone, the 2nd-largest Japan tire production company, also announced this week that they will suspend all their investment in Myanmar starting at the end of July 2021.

Protests continue in different parts of Myanmar despite the crackdown by the junta. The clashes between the junta forces and the civil resistance fighters or Ethnic Armed Organizations also emerged across Myanmar particularly in Chin, Shan, Karen, Kachin, Mon States and Sagaing, Yangon, Tanintharyi Bago and Mandalay Regions. The Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) documented from the 12th of March to the 2nd of April a total of 27 airstrikes and 47 bombs were dropped on Karen villages, as well as 575 mortar strikes around the Mutraw district (Hpapun). Burma Army attacks killed  20 civilians and injured 40 others, displacing 70,000.

According to the information compiled by ANFREL, at least 33 bomb blasts happened across Myanmar in the past week. It was reported that at least 9 people were injured and 3 killed. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported that, as of 10 July, 899 people have been killed by the junta. 5,173 people are currently under detention and 249 are sentenced. 26 have been sentenced to death and 1,963 are evading arrest warrants.


Download full update here: Myanmar Situation Update (5-11 July 2021)


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