Suu Kyi hit with new charge | Daily News

Suu Kyi hit with new charge

A protester holds up a sign calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on Tuesday.
A protester holds up a sign calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on Tuesday.

MYANMAR: Myanmar’s military on Wednesday drew fresh international criticism by slapping a new charge on deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as the generals cut off the internet for a third straight night in a bid to grind down an anti-coup uprising.

In the two weeks since the military ousted Suu Kyi and put her under house arrest in the administrative capital Naypyidaw, big cities and isolated village communities alike have been in open revolt.

After her detention in a dawn raid on February 1 -- the day of the coup -- she was charged under an obscure import and export law, over walkie talkies that were found in her home during a search. The Nobel laureate's lawyer told AFP Tuesday she had been hit with a second charge, of violating the country's disaster management law.

"She was charged under Section 8 of the Export and Import law and section 25 of the Natural Disaster Management law as well," Khin Maung Zaw told AFP.

While it was unclear how the disaster law applied in Suu Kyi's case, it has been used against deposed president Win Myint -- also arrested on February 1 -- relating to a campaign event that the junta alleges broke coronavirus-related restrictions.

Khin Maung Zaw added that Suu Kyi and Win Myint, both of whom he has yet to have any contact with, were expected to appear via video conference during a March 1 trial. More than 420 people have been arrested since the coup, according to a list of confirmed detentions from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun said Tuesday that both Suu Kyi and Win Myint were in a “safer place” and “in good health”. "It's not like they were arrested -- they are staying at their houses,” the General, who became the country's Vice-Minister of Information after the coup, told a press conference.

Security Forces have used increasingly heavy measures to quell huge nationwide street protests and a disobedience campaign encouraging civil servants to strike. Troops have fanned out around the country in recent days. Rubber bullets, tear gas and even sling shots have been used against protesters, and one demonstration in Mandalay on Monday saw police beating journalists hours before authorities again cut internet access. A large crowd blocked railway tracks outside Mawlamyine to prevent a Yangon-bound train from leaving the port city.

- AFP