Saturday's calls for protests came as the leaders of the United States, India, Australia and Japan vowed to work together to restore democracy in Myanmar where violence has escalated as authorities crack down on protests and civil disobedience.
Witnesses outside Insein Prison in Yangon saw busloads of mostly young people, looking happy with some flashing the three-finger gesture of defiance adopted by the protest movement. State-run TV said a total of 628 were freed.
Myanmar has been rocked by almost daily protests since the army overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government and installed the junta. Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her campaign to bring democratic civilian rule to Myanmar,
The clashes, which began on Friday at the main mosque in the capital Dhaka, spread to several key districts in the the Muslim majority nation of 168 million, leaving five people dead and scores injured.
Around half of India’s population works in agriculture, and unrest among the estimated 150 million land-owning farmers represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he came to power in 2014.
Tunisia, the only democracy to emerge from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, and Lebanon, a quasi-democracy where a political revolt was launched in October 2019, now face economic protests driven by coronavirus restrictions.
The United States and United Nations condemned the use of force against protesters, who demand the reversal of the coup and the release of Suu Kyi and other detained leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) and activists.
Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, who had just turned 20, had been on life support since being taken to hospital on Feb.9, after she was hit by what doctors said was a live bullet at a protest in the capital, Naypyitaw.
The Jan. 26 public holiday marks the date the British fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788 to start a penal colony, viewing the land as unoccupied despite encountering settlements.
While the initial protests were started by rice and wheat growers from northern Indian who camped out on the outskirts of New Delhi, support for them has been growing especially in states not ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.