Can Myanmar’s pro-democracy activists endure military pressure?

Can Myanmar’s pro-democracy activists endure military pressure?

On Wednesday, August 3 at 19:30 GMT: People across Myanmar are continuing to endure a state of emergency that has now been extended for six months by military coup leaders who are upping the ante against their opponents.

State media reported on August 1 that the ruling State Administration Council (SAC) approved a request by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to maintain a state of emergency until February 2023 – which would be two years since the military unseated the democratically-elected National League for Democracy government.

The extension, which was reported by state media on August 1, follows the execution of four anti-coup activists who were convicted behind closed doors under anti-terrorism laws. The men included Phyo Zeya Thaw, a musician and former legislator from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, and lifetime pro-democracy campaigner Kyaw Min Yu, also known as Ko Jimmy.

The executions – the first to be carried out in Myanmar since the late 1980s – sparked international revulsion and were unanimously condemned by the United Nations Security Council. Activists now fear that scores of political prisoners on death row could soon face a similar fate and join at least 2,145 people killed by security forces since the coup.

As growing numbers of civilians take up arms to resist the military in both urban and rural parts of Myanmar and military aircraft hit civilian areas, Min Aung Hlaing says a “lack of stability” is blocking efforts to implement a peace plan backed by member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Pro-democracy activists are meanwhile urging co-ordinated international action against Myanmar’s military, including further targeted sanctions.

In this episode of The Stream we’ll look at how pro-democracy voices are coping as Myanmar’s military puts them under greater pressure.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by: Nathan Maung Journalist

Thinzar Shunlei Yi, @thinzashunleiyi Activist and advocacy co-ordinator

Khin Ohmar, @khinohmar Chairperson Advisory Board, Progressive Voice progressivevoicemyanmar.org