Myanmar blocks access to Facebook after military coup

Southeast Asian nation's military government orders temporary shutdown to avoid 'misunderstandings before public'

Myanmar blocks access to Facebook after military coup

Myanmar’s military, which recently seized power in a coup, has decided to temporarily block access to Facebook.

In a statement posted online, the Communications and Information Ministry said state-owned telecom company MPT, the country's largest telecom operator, and private internet servers in the country were ordered to bar access to the social media site until Feb. 7.

The decision was taken to “ensure stability” in the country, it said.

"Currently, some individuals share false news and information on Facebook, causing misunderstandings before the public," it said.

Following the government's instructions, MPT, which has 23 million users, banned access to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, while other telecom companies blocked Facebook only.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed that the site could not be accessed in Myanmar.

Myanmar's military declared a state of emergency on Monday, hours after detaining ousted President Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of the pre-coup ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

The coup took place hours before the first session of the country's new parliament was set to convene following elections last November in which Suu Kyi's NLD party made sweeping gains.

The military claimed the coup was staged due to "election fraud" in the polls, which it said resulted in the dominance of the NLD in parliament.

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