Updated 14 February 2021
The military coup’s so-called State Administrative Council yesterday announced two reforms to the legal framework intended to suppress dissent among the general public.
Articles of the ‘The Ward or Village Tract Administration Law’ were suspended under the banner of the “Fourth Amendment of the Ward or Village-Tract Administration Law”. Articles of the ‘Law on the Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens’ were also suspended on 13 February.
The suspension of articles of The Ward or Village Tract Administration Law re-established the dictatorship provision that residents have to report guests who stay overnight and which can be inspected, and if violated, punished. The reinstatement of the guest list reporting system directly intends to deter activists protesting the coup from staying or hiding overnight in discrete locations. It also instills fear of police raids into the general public during the night. This notorious provision was used during the previous coups staged by the military.
The Law on the Protection of Personal Liberty and Security of Citizens, Sections (5), (7), and (8) were suspended, they provided protection of liberty and security of the individual citizen. Suspended Section (5) stated that authorities shall enter into a person’s residence or private places for the purpose of search, seizure, or arrest, only when accompanied by a minimum of two witnesses from local administration organizations. Suspended Section (7) of the law stated that no one shall be detained for more than 24 hours without court permission. Suspended Section (8) stated that only with the permission or warrant from the Union Government, are police allowed to enter a private residence or room for the purpose of search, seizure, arrest, surveillance, or intercepting telecommunication.
By suspending the above articles, houses can be searched by authorities without the presence of the ward administrative officers and unlawful acts during inspection can be committed. Moreover, they can detain someone for more than 24 hours, stalk people and track any communications, unlawfully confiscate belongings and properties without a warrant.
AAPP notes that the amendments to these two laws display how the military junta certainly violates inalienable human rights and intensifies the suppressive apparatus towards the general public. Furthermore, the military junta is sabotaging means for the people to communicate. A jamming signal known as ‘Drone Slyer’ is being deployed on vehicles with the intention to disrupt communication and recordings on protests and crackdowns.
This and other disturbing reports from night-time raids by police or looting and arson by unknown mobs did not stop people from different backgrounds and regions including civil servants staging peaceful protests. The coup regime has also begun to sack some civil servants for participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). Letters of dismissal have circulated which show some civil servants from Magway Town in Magway Region were fired, and on February 13 26 staff from the General Administration Department in Ayeyarwady Region’s Mawgyun Township were similarly sacked.
For detentions in relation to the coup. As of February 12, a total of (400) people have been arrested and detained in relation to the military coup on February 1. Of them, (3) have been sentenced, 2 to two years imprisonment, 1 to three months, (25) were released. A total of (375) are still under detention, including the (3) sentenced.
AAPP will continue to keep you informed of verified daily arrests, charges and sentences in relation to coup, and update our lists to the details of these alleged offences.
If you receive any information about arrests/detentions of CSO leaders, teachers, activists, journalists, civilians, in relation to the military and police crackdown on dissent. Please submit to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) main office in Yangon:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter : https://twitter.com/aapp_burma
Download link for Recent Arrests List (Last Updated on 14 Feb 21)(final)
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