An Australian who was detained in Myanmar says she and her husband have been freed from house arrest and may leave the country without charge.
Christa Avery and her husband Matthew O’Kane were refused permission to leave Myanmar last month when they were about to board a flight home.
“I am, of course, incredibly relieved to have been released and to be on my way home with my husband Matt,” Ms Avery said.
“Even though I knew that I had done nothing wrong, it was very stressful being held under house arrest for two weeks.”
Thousands of other people have also been locked up since the country was plunged into turmoil following a military coup that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Among them is another Australia, Sean Turnell, an economic adviser to Ms Suu Kyi.
Latest figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) show another 557 people have been killed since the start of February.
Still, protesters are determined to get their messages across.
At the weekend, the military attempted to stop those messages being broadcast; it ordered internet providers to cut wireless broadband so it could control the flow of information.
Authorities also issued arrest warrants for nearly 40 celebrities known for opposing military rule, including social media influencers, singers and models, under a law against inciting dissent in the armed forces.
One of those charged, blogger Thurein Hlaing Win, told Reuters he was shocked to see himself branded a criminal. He has gone into hiding to avoid arrest.
“If I get punished for that, my conscience is clear. My beliefs will not change.”
The charge, announced on the main evening news bulletins broadcast by state media on Friday and Saturday, can carry a prison term of three years.
Four women and a man who spoke to a visiting CNN news crew in interviews on the streets of the main city of Yangon last week were among those taken into detention in recent days.
Despite the killings and legal threats, protesters have been out every day since elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown.
At night, they hold candlelight vigils.
They are rejecting the return to military rule after a decade of tentative steps towards democracy.
Social media has also been a powerful tool for opponents who, despite the cuts to internet, have found ways to post photos showing the reality of life since the coup.
They have shared photographs of Easter eggs decorated with messages of hope and defiance.
Confronting images have also explained the toll of the political turmoil to the world.
In one photograph posted on Sunday, a bloodied body lay in the middle of the road.
Human rights activists from Milk Tea Alliance described Myanmar as being like a “war zone” and said another body had been discovered the previous day.
“Lots of unknown dead bodies found under military coup,” the group claimed.
Other photographs and videos were published as evidence to support claims the military was behind arson attacks occurring while residents were at home during night-time curfews.
The claims could not be verified.
We guarantee you that there is indeed internet connection cut off in Myanmar with unstable connections. We appeal the global education community to help as much as possible to Myanmar students who are facing physical as well as mental hardships. @nathanlawkc #MilkTeaAlliance https://t.co/ZUuTHgI1lM
— Civil Disobedience Movement (@cvdom2021) April 3, 2021
The military ruled the former British colony with an iron fist after seizing power in a 1962 coup until it began withdrawing from civilian politics a decade ago, releasing Ms Suu Kyi from years of house arrest and allowing an election that her party swept in 2015.
It has maintained it had to oust Ms Suu Kyi’s government because a November election, again won easily by her party, was rigged.
The election commission has dismissed the military’s claim the voting result was illegitimate.
Many in Myanmar, particularly younger people who have come of age during the past decade of social and economic opening up, cannot accept the return of rule by the generals.
Ms Suu Kyi is in detention facing charges that could bring 14 years in prison.