Myanmar’s military grabbed power on February 1, after it accused the ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) of conspiracy and electoral fraud in the November 2020 general election.
Previously, Myanmar lived under a military dictatorship for several decades until political reforms led to civilian rule in 2010. During the historic 2015 election, the pro-democracy NLD defeated a military-backed party although the Tatmadaw, as the armed forces are called in Myanmar, are assured of representation in the Parliament, Cabinet, and other branches of government as stipulated in the military-drafted 2008 constitution.
The 2020 election was again dominated by the NLD, yet the military contested the results citing alleged massive irregularities in the roll of voters, and eventually arrested leaders of the NLD and top officials of the government. The military has vowed to conduct another election after implementing reforms.
The coup has been rejected by NLD supporters and citizens who consider the actions of the military a reversal of the country’s democratic transition. A civil disobedience movement was immediately launched to oppose the coup. Medical front-liners were among those who supported the campaign and community protests were organized every day despite the ban on mass gatherings.
The internet was disrupted several times, and the military has introduced a cybersecurity bill that allows authorities to block online content. A general strike was held on February 22, which succeeded in gathering a record number of participants across the country. On February 28, a nationwide crackdown led to the killing of at least 18 protesters. Hundreds have been arrested.
Global solidarity for Myanmar continues to grow stronger although the junta seems unfazed and determined to cling to power.
Global Voices’ coverage features stories and eyewitness accounts of citizen journalists, media partners, and local researchers.
Stories about The junta seizes Myanmar again. Will democracy prevail?
How military supporters are using Telegram channels to suppress dissent in Myanmar
Pro-military people are urging the military authorities to take action against those who are pro-democracy, calling for detention, imprisonment, property seizure, revoking citizenship and travel documents — even the execution of political prisoners and rebels.
How the ‘two Myanmars’ view the Russian invasion of Ukraine
"The two very different approaches were a reflection of Myanmar’s split political and diplomatic status."
Films on human rights abuses and courageous opposition in Myanmar
EngageMedia has curated a playlist of films that shows the extent of rights abuses in the country, as well as courageous forms of resistance against the continuing infringement on rights.
Myanmar activists oppose sale of Telenor telecom to military-linked firm
"They have not consulted with the people risking their lives to resist the military junta, whose lives are in Telenor's hands."
Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces mark coup anniversary with a ‘silent strike’
"The people have refused to allow themselves to once again become slaves of the military, and will never give up."
Media crackdown continues ahead of coup anniversary in Myanmar
"He is the third journalist to be killed in Myanmar in less than a month, in a sign of the absolutely unacceptable practices increasingly employed by the junta."
Inside Myanmar: Testimonies of survival and resistance
"The military junta could only terrorize our country but they can't rule. They could shoot, kill and arrest our young heroes called 'Spring flowers' but they can't avoid Burma's Spring."
WATCH/LISTEN: Myanmar: Coup & civil disobedience
Missed the live stream of the April 22 Global Voices Insights webinar on Myanmar? Here's a replay.
LIVE on April 22—Myanmar: Coup & civil disobedience
The session will be live-streamed on Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch.
Myanmar crackdown intensifies as air strikes lead to more killings and displacement
A Myanmar blogger has documented the escalation of violence in Myanmar and the continuing defiance of anti-coup protesters in the second half of March.
Artists ‘raise three fingers’ in support of Myanmar protesters
"When we see somebody, and we raise three fingers, we know the movement is still alive. There is still hope."
Timeline of the second month of military coup and terror in Myanmar
Images and videos of the brutality unleashed by Myanmar's military are widely shared on social media. Despite the terror tactics, pro-democracy forces are fighting back.
Myanmar's anti-coup protesters include DIY shields, women’s sarongs in their defensive arsenal
Myanmar's security forces have become more brutal in suppressing the anti-coup movement but protesters have devised creative and unusual tactics to survive and avoid the riot police.
An interview with a blogger who connects Myanmar and Hong Kong's dream for democracy
"Exchanges among activists could help reflect on the inadequacy of local protests and develop a wider horizon in understanding the significance of the pro-democracy movement in Asia."
Sunday's death toll rises to 71 in crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar
"These shooting[s] are totally unacceptable. They are not dispersing the protests. They are just murdering the people with violence."
‘This goes way beyond brutality': Myanmar coup and the military's violent suppression of democracy
Myanmar protesters are being killed for resisting the military government. As violence continues to worsen, many are appealing for urgent UN intervention.
In the streets and online, Myanmar's citizens unite in creative opposition to the military junta
"The protests have also been highly inclusive, welcoming people representing a diversity of professions and identities, including people from a range of religious faiths and from the LGBTQ community."
Scenes from Myanmar’s deadliest week as coup enters second month
"They are so determined to see the death of the military dictatorship, there is simply no way their movement can die."
Coup and resistance in Myanmar: A timeline of the first month under the 2021 military junta
From the coup to violent crackdowns and arrests, February 202a was a month of turmoil in Myanmar. But the people are fighting back.
Myanmar’s bloody Sunday sees highest death toll so far at hands of security forces
“If we don’t resist out of fear, we would be enslaved by them. I believe others will move the protest ahead even if I am taken down.”
Myanmar illustrators unite to distribute protest art for free
"Like all other Myanmar citizens, artists want to contribute to the national struggle... artists can assist other protesters with our artworks..."