Seven-year-old girl becomes youngest victim of Myanmar violence

Demonstrators are seen behind barricades during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay Myanmar

The UN called "for the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi", Haq said.

Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun put the death toll lower at 164, and branded the victims "violent terrorist people" at a Tuesday news conference in the capital Naypyidaw.

Hundreds of people imprisoned for protesting last month's coup were released Wednesday in the first apparent gesture by the military to try to placate the protest movement.

It has tried to justify the takeover by saying a November 8 election won by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) was fraudulent - an accusation the electoral commission has rejected.

The new tactic was employed after an extended onslaught of violence from security forces.

It said it was horrified at the "complete disregard for human life by security forces".

He said strikes and hospitals not fully operating had caused deaths, including from Covid-19, calling them "undutiful and unethical".

The junta has also been targeting the media.

The military has declared the CRPH an illegal organisation and said membership is punishable by death.

He gave granular details or how the NLD had created hundreds or even thousands of extra ballots in numerous townships by inventing voters, including in Suu Kyi's own constituency.

"If she can not participate in the video conference there won't be a hearing".

Also shown was video testimony of former Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein saying he visited Suu Kyi multiple times and gave her money "whenever needed".

Another Israel election stalemate likely
But that arrangement fell apart late past year with the lack of agreement on a budget, triggering the new round of elections. He shares Netanyahu's hard-line nationalist ideology and would seem to be more likely to ultimately join the prime minister.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign to bring democratic civilian rule to Myanmar, is being held in detention while an array of accusations have been levelled at her, including bribery.

The Sydney academic had already been accused on state media of trying to leave the country with government financial documents, an allegation his friends say is trumped up, but if charged and found guilty under the colonial-era Burma Official Secrets Act he could face a prison term.

Elsewhere, helium-filled balloons were released on Monday bearing messages calling for worldwide help.

Wednesday's release was an unusual overture by the military, which has so far seemed impervious to both internal pressure from protests and outside pressure from sanctions.

Monday's sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes.

The prisoners appear to be the hundreds of students detained in early March while demonstrating against the February 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The online meme posted to publicize the action called silence "the loudest scream" and explained its goal was to honour the movement's fallen heroes, to recharge protesters' energy and to contradict the junta's claims that "everything is back to normal".

The EU already has an arms embargo on Myanmar and has targeted some senior military officials since 2018.

"The number of murders has reached an unbearable level, and that is why we will not be able to avoid imposing sanctions", said Germany's Heiko Maas as European Union foreign ministers gathered in Brussels to sign off on the sanctions.

Thein Zaw's release came hours after more than 600 people held for protesting against the coup were freed from the same jail.

In a bid to pile worldwide pressure on the regime, the European Union yesterday placed Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing on an assets freeze and visa ban blacklist.

There was no immediate response from the junta, which has shown no sign so far of being swayed by global condemnation of its actions.

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