Protests mark Myanmar junta chief birthday

·1-min read

Protesters have taken to the streets across Myanmar to demonstrate against military rule on the 65th birthday of junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Protests against the military have been ongoing for over five months since the February 1 coup, which kicked the elected civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi out of office and overthrew Myanmar's democratic transition from the previous junta.

"We wish him to die and may his soul go to hell," Kyaw Min, a protester from Myanmar's biggest city Yangon, told dpa on the phone while they participated in a protest on Saturday.

People burned pictures of Min Aung Hlaing at the demonstration in the city's Insein township.

Thousands of comments under local media reports online about his birthday directed hatred at him, his family and his followers.

In Mandalay city, Kayah state and various places across the country, protesters burned mock coffins and pictures of Min Aung Hlaing at a staged funeral.

A few days after the coup, the military junta led by Min Aung Hlaing scrapped the age limit of 65 for the army chief and his deputy to allow him to hold onto power beyond the previously stipulated limit.

According to estimates by the prisoners' aid organisation AAPP, more than 888 people have been killed since the coup. More than 6000 have been arrested.

Recently, however, the junta ordered the release of more than 2000 prisoners nationwide, including 700 from the notorious Insein prison in Yangon.

On Wednesday evening the first prisoners reportedly left the prison, which has for decades been known for its brutal treatment of inmates.

Because of the coup, the US government imposed further sanctions on leading members of the military regime and their relatives on Friday.

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