The blackout follows the 10th day of protest, which is characterized by an outstanding military presence and use of force in Mandalay.
Myanmar was plunged into a second internet blackout on Monday evening after police used violence on Monday evening after the 10th day of demonstrations against the military coup, which was marked by an increased presence of troops and injuries in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city to cancel a protest.
Internet monitoring group NetBlocks said connectivity dropped to 15 percent of default overnight.
“#Myanmar is in the middle of an almost complete Internet shutdown for the second time in a row,” tweeted NetBlocks from 1:00 am local time (6:30 pm GMT) early Tuesday morning.
The United Nations warned the military of “grave consequences” for taking tough action against the demonstrators and condemned the internet restrictions.
“Ms. Schraner Burgener has affirmed that the right to peaceful assembly must be fully respected and that demonstrators are not subject to reprisals,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq in New York.
“She has told the Myanmar military that the world is looking closely and that any form of persistent reaction is likely to have grave consequences.”
In a report on the meeting, Myanmar’s army said Soe Win, the regime’s deputy, discussed the government’s plans and information on the “true situation of the events in Myanmar”.
People have been on the streets for days, demanding the military, which took power in a coup on February 1, to step down and liberate the country’s elected leaders, including 75-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been charged with illegally possessing walkie-talkies and is expected to appear in court via video link on Wednesday.
At least two people were lightly injured in the protests on Monday when police in Mandalay City used rubber bullets and catapults to end a protest, media and local residents said.
Protesters threw stones, said a member of the rescue team who helped the injured.
“One of them needed oxygen because he was hit in the rib with a rubber bullet,” Khin Maung Tin, head of the rescue team, told AFP.
At least two people were injured in Mandalay when soldiers and police officers used rubber bullets and catapults to end a protest [Stringer/Reuters]Local journalists also said the police beat them.
A demonstration by student groups in Naypyidaw, the country’s military-built capital, was also violently caught after the gathering withdrew. Police also arrested dozens of the young protesters, although some were later released.
Coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing said at a junta meeting on Monday that authorities were trying to be gentle but warned: “Effective measures will be taken against people who harm the country and who commit treason through violence.”
In addition to demonstrations in cities, officials including doctors and teachers have gone on strike as part of a civil disobedience movement that has crippled many government functions.
The army carried out night arrests and increased search and arrest powers through changes to the colonial penal code.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which prosecutes detention, expressed concern that internet blackouts could be used to “carry out unjust activities, including arbitrary arrests.” It is said that at least 426 people have been arrested since the coup and 391 have remained in custody.
The group said recent changes to the criminal code made the law “more arbitrary” and “directed against the civil disobedience movement,” noting that the changes could allow the military to target leaflets, protest banners and even songs. People found guilty could sit in prison for up to 20 years, the AAPP added.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won one election in 2015 and another on November 8 – an increase in majority – but the military claimed the vote was fraudulent and used this complaint to justify their coup. The electoral commission has rejected allegations of fraud.
Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 15 years under house arrest during the previous military regime.