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Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi hit with two new criminal charges

Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since being detained on 1 February.

File image of Aung San Suu Kyi.
File image of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Image: Jazz Editions/ABACA

OUSTED MYANMAR CIVILIAN leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been issued two new criminal charges in a court appearance via video link, a month after a military coup triggered mass protests.

Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since being detained on 1 February, and her appearance in court came as demonstrators again took to the streets across the country in defiance of an escalation of deadly force by the junta.

At least 18 people died yesterday as troops and police fired live rounds at demonstrators in cities across Myanmar, according to the United Nations, which cited its own credible information.

State broadcaster MRTV said today that more than 1,300 arrests and eleven deaths took place yesterday. It also announced that the security forces have been directed not to use live rounds against protesters.

Suu Kyi (75) was already facing obscure criminal charges for possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies, as well as violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event during last year’s election.

She is now also accused of breaching communications laws as well as intent to incite public unrest, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said.

“We can not say for sure how many more cases Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will face in this period,” he told reporters in Naypyidaw.

“Anything can happen in this country at this time.”

Suu Kyi has reportedly been kept under house arrest in the capital of Naypyidaw, an isolated city purpose-built under Myanmar’s previous junta.

The military has justified its takeover, which ended a decade-long democratic experiment, with unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in last November’s national elections, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won in a landslide.

Deposed lawmakers from her party have branded the junta a “terrorist group”.

“Due to the atrocities and acts of terrorism of the military the streets and communities across Myanmar have become battlefields,” a committee of lawmakers said.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to streets regularly over the past month to oppose the coup.

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The military has steadily escalated the type of force used in trying to contain the uprising, beginning with tear gas and water cannons, and this weekend’s violence saw a major escalation as rubber bullets and live rounds were deployed.

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AFP

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