YANGON, Burma – The ruling Burma junta has indicted at least 19 medics for participating in civil disobedience protests against the military coup on February 1, a state newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Doctors, nurses and medical students marched and joined in strikes to show their opposition to the military takeover that toppled the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and halted the progress made by Burma towards greater democratization after five decades of military rule.
The indicted doctors are accused of supporting and participating in the civil disobedience movement “with the aim of deteriorating the administrative apparatus of the state,” wrote the newspaper Global New Light of Burma.
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The military government has already issued arrest warrants against 100 people active in the fields of literature, cinema, theater, music and journalism, accused of disseminating information undermining the stability of the country and Right wing state.
This is not the first time that doctors have been targeted. Earlier this month, in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, security forces used stun grenades and fired guns to interrupt a march of medical workers protesting the military takeover. The online news site The Irrawaddy reported that four doctors had been arrested.
Protests continued across Burma on Wednesday even as people boycotted the official celebration of Thingyan, the country’s traditional New Year, usually a time for family reunions and celebrations.
In leaflets and social media posts last week, people were asked not to hold Thingyan celebrations, saying it would be disrespectful to the “fallen martyrs” to profit from the festival.
The government’s violent response to the anti-coup protests saw 714 people killed by security officials, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.
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Last week, at least 82 people were killed in one day in a crackdown by security forces on protesters, according to local independent media and AAPP reports.
Friday’s death toll in Bago was the largest one-day total for a single city since March 14, when just over 100 people were killed in Yangon, the country’s largest city. Bago is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Yangon. The Associated Press has not been able to independently verify the number of deaths.
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