Security officials responded to the crackdown with brutal crackdowns and detained thousands, including five people arrested in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, on Friday, minutes after interviewing CNN reporters, according to eyewitnesses.
The CNN team visited the Ten Miles Bazaar in Insein, Yangon, where they interviewed some locals. Among those interviewed were two women who raised the protest with three fingers.
The two were arrested by a group of security officials within three to five minutes of the CNN team leaving the area, according to eyewitnesses.
The women work in a market shop. They were taken to the Shve Phi Tar interrogation center, a source close to them said.
In a separate incident on Friday, the team interviewed residents of a market in Mingaladon, Yangon. A man and a woman were arrested after the interview, and another person managed to escape, according to an eyewitness.
A relative of the two Mingaladon detainees turned to the CNN team and told them what had happened. She herself was arrested after the journalists left the area.
CNN contacted the Myanmar military for comment and was told the people had been released.
However, sources close to the detainees told CNN on Saturday that at least four women and one man were still being held at the interrogation center in Shwe Phi Tar.
The military junta in Myanmar has reduced all wireless Internet services to further communication, which appears to be a concerted effort to control communications and communications in the Southeast Asian country.
Pro-democracy protesters repeatedly filled streets across the country for two months after the government was ousted from the army.
Displaced civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was charged Thursday with violating the country’s official secrecy law as security services tried to curb protests.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday that the junta “forcibly disappeared hundreds of people” – including politicians, election officials, journalists, activists and protesters – after the coup.
According to the AAPP, at least 2,751 people, including journalists, protesters, activists, government officials, trade unionists, writers, students, civilians and even children, have been detained since April 2, often during night raids.
CNN is in Myanmar with the permission of the military and is accompanied by the military.
“We are known for reports of arrests following our team’s visit to Yangon, Myanmar yesterday,” a CNN spokesman said Saturday.
“We are pressuring the authorities for information on this issue and for the safe release of all detainees.”