Yangon: Ousted Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was slapped with two new criminal charges when she appeared in court via video link on March 1, a month after a military coup triggered relentless and massive protests.
The military took charge on February 1 and declared a year-long state of emergency following a general election which Suu Kyi’s NLD party won by a landslide. The armed forces had backed the opposition which was demanding a rerun of the vote, claiming widespread fraud.
Suu Kyi has been reportedly under house arrest in Naypyidaw, an isolated city that the military built during a previous dictatorship.
She faces 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 a violation of communications laws as well as intent to incite public unrest. Many other NLD officials have also been detained.
On Feb 28, Myanmar saw the biggest escalation in the protests in which at least 18 people died as troops and police fired live bullets at demonstrators in cities across Myanmar, according to the United Nations.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to streets regularly over the past month to oppose the coup. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a reliable monitoring group, estimated that about 30 people had been killed by security forces since the coup on February 1. More than 1,100 people have been arrested, charged, or sentenced since the coup, according to The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. (Hindustan Times)