İrem UZUN -TDO- Myanmar’s junta has suspended laws constraining security forces from detaining suspects or searching private property without court approval and ordered the arrest of well-known backers of mass protests against the coup.  The announcements came on Saturday, the eighth day of country-wide demonstrations against the takeover and detention of the elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

A statement signed by the military ruler, Gen Min Aung Hlaing, ordered the suspension of three sections of the laws “protecting the privacy and security of the citizens”, which had been introduced after Myanmar opened up from half a century of army rule. The sections suspended include the requirement for a court order to detain prisoners beyond 24 hours and constraints on security forces’ ability to enter – and if need be damage – private property to search it or make arrests. The suspension also frees authorities to spy on all communications.

People in Myanmar are reacting with defiance as authorities use night-time raids to arrest opponents of the military coup. The army announced on Saturday that arrest warrants had been issued for seven prominent opposition campaigners. They are wanted under the rarely used charge of "disturbing tranquillity". The United Nations human rights office said on Friday that more than 350 people had been arrested since the coup.

UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Friday calling on Myanmar to release Suu Kyi and other officials from detention and refrain from using violence on protesters.  Thomas Andrews, the UN rights investigator for Myanmar, told a special session of the rights council in Geneva that the UN Security Council should consider imposing sanctions and arms embargoes. 

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