Huge rallies in Myanmar for ninth day as army steps up arrests

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Myanmar’s big cities for a ninth day of anti-coup demonstrations, as the country’s new military rulers rolled back laws protecting freedom and stepped up the arrests of politicians and activists.

Engineering students marched through downtown Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, on Sunday, wearing white and carrying placards demanding the release of former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention since the military overthrew her elected government on February 1.

A convoy of motorbikes and cars drove through the capital, Naypyidaw.

In the southeastern coastal town of Dawei, a band played the drums in shadows cast by awnings as crowds marched under the hot sun. At least six policemen joined that protest, according to the Myanmar Now website.

And in the central town of Myingyan, huge crowds rallied on the streets, carrying placards that called for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release and denouncing “propaganda” by the state-run MRTV and MWD television stations.

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