Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi appears in court via video link as she faces two new charges
If convicted, she may not be able to run for elections in the country.
Two new charges have been framed against ousted Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as she appeared before a court on Monday through video link, The Guardian reported, citing her lawyer.
Earlier, Suu Kyi was charged for breaching import and export laws and possession of unlawful communication devices, including walkie-talkies found at her home in Nay Pyi Taw. Suu Kyi, who was not been seen in public since she was detained by the military following the February 1 coup now faces four charges. If convicted, she may not be able to run for elections in the country.
Her lawyer, Min Min Soe, said that one of the new charges against the ousted leader falls under the country’s colonial-era penal code, which prohibits publishing information that may “cause fear or alarm” or disrupt “public tranquility”. Another charge was added under a telecommunications law, he said.
Her lawyers, who saw her for the first time, also said that Suu Kyi appeared in “good health” and has asked to see her legal team, according to BBC. She has been kept at an undisclosed location after she was detained.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 15.
Day after lethal shooting, protestors return to the streets
Meanwhile, protestors returned to the streets on Monday, a day after the police opened fire leading to the death of at least 18 agitators and another 30 sustaining injuries, reported AP.
The police resorted to firing tear gases in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. The protestors were chased as they tried to gather at the Hledan Center intersection, their usual meeting spot. Demonstrators scattered and looked for rinsing their faces with water in an attempt to ease the irritation caused by the gas.
The protestors put up makeshift sidewalk shrines at the spots where several of the victims were shot and paid their respects by standing outside the hospitals from which the bodies of the victims were being released to their families.
In Dawei, a small city in the country, where an estimated five people were killed on Sunday, the number of protesters on Monday was lower than usual. Marchers in the city formed smaller groups, parading through the city as bystanders applauded them an made the three-finger salutes adopted by the protestors to show their support.
The military coup in Myanmar followed the landslide victory of the National League for Democracy and Suu Kyi in the national elections in November, with the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party faring poorly in its key strongholds.
The country’s military refused to accept the government, citing unsubstantiated allegations of fraud. It was also announced that the coup was the result of the government’s failure to delay the November election despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.
However, Myanmar’s Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing said on February 8 that “free and fair” elections will be held after the completion of the emergency period, and the military will hand over power to the winner.