Myanmar orders Facebook blocked as protests emerge after coup

Myanmar’s military-run government has ordered internet providers to temporarily block access to Facebook amid growing protests days after seizing power from its civilian leadership, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

Protesters from Myanmar residing in Japan hold portraits of leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's President Win Myint at a rally against Myanmar's military after it seized power. (Reuters Photo )

Myanmar’s military-run government has ordered internet providers to temporarily block access to Facebook amid growing protests days after seizing power from its civilian leadership, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

Facebook Inc. is aware the social media platform “is currently disrupted for some people,” the spokeswoman said. Reuters reported that Myanmar’s Ministry of Communications and Information posted a letter saying access to Facebook and its services will be unavailable until Feb. 7 in order to maintain “stability” in the country.

“We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information,” the Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.

The move comes after residents in Yangon on Wednesday night protested for a second straight evening, singing songs, banging on pots and honking car horns in protest of the military coup. Earlier yesterday, authorities filed criminal charges against former leader Aung San Suu Kyi for possessing illegally imported walkie-talkies, an apparent violation of an import-export law. She faces as many as three years in prison if convicted.

Suu Kyi has called on supporters to resist Myanmar’s generals, who seized power on Monday after claiming without presenting evidence that her landslide victory in November’s election was tainted with fraud. The military has pledged to hold elections after a yearlong state of emergency.

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