Myanmar authorities arrest 22 for marking Suu Kyi’s birthday: media by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 6 min read

Demonstrators rally on motorcycles to mark the 79th birthday of the country’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Launglon township in Tanintharyi region, Myanmar, on June 19, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Myanmar authorities arrested 22 people for marking the birthday of imprisoned democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi, local media reported on Wednesday.

Police in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, arrested 22 people who had posted pictures of themselves wearing flowers in their hair – long a signature Suu Kyi look – Eleven Media reported, citing an anonymous official.

Other local media said around a dozen had been arrested in the central Myanmar city for wearing flowers or praying with them in public.

A prominent pro-junta Telegram account posted several photos claiming to show those arrested, including one showing five people with their legs placed in stocks.

Suu Kyi, who turned 79 on Wednesday, has been detained by the military since it toppled her government and seized power in 2021.

The coup and subsequent crackdown on dissent have sparked a widespread armed uprising that the military is struggling to crush.

The junta has rebuffed numerous requests by foreign leaders and diplomats to meet Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, who has reportedly suffered health problems during more than three years in detention.

Suu Kyi’s only known encounter with a foreign envoy since the coup came in July last year, when then-Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai said he had met her for more than an hour.

Suu Kyi is serving a 27-year sentence imposed by a junta court after a trial condemned by rights groups as a sham to shut her out of politics.

Her son told AFP in February she was in “strong spirits” after receiving a letter from her — their first communication since she was detained in the coup.

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