Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi Faces New Criminal Charges

Published April 12th, 2021 - 11:11 GMT
Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is handed new criminal charges.
A man cycles with his son past graffiti in support of demonstrations by protesters against the military coup in Yangon on April 12, 2021. STR / AFP
Highlights
Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi slapped with new accusations.

Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been handed fresh criminal charges as a heavy-handed crackdown against her supporters continues across the country.

Suu Kyi “has been charged again under section 25 of the natural disaster management law,” her lawyer Min Min Soe said after she took part via a video link in an online court hearing in the capital Naypyidaw on Monday.

“She has been charged in six cases altogether -- five charges in Naypyidaw and one in Yangon,” the lawyer pointed out.

Min Min Soe said Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Naypyidaw, appeared via the video link to be in good health.

The 75-year-old Nobel laureate has asked the court to be allowed to meet her lawyers in person.

Meanwhile, her supporters have been staging nationwide protests on a daily basis since the February 1 military coup, demanding that Suu Kyi be released and civilian governance be restored.

The junta forces have applied heavy-handed techniques including the use of rubber bullets, live rounds, grenades and incarceration to clamp down on the protesters.

In one of the bloodiest days of the unrest so far, on Friday more than 80 protesters were killed by security forces in the southern city of Bago.

More than 700 civilians have been killed in the space of just 70 days since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

The human rights advocate group said more than 3,000 people have been arrested in this period.


Despite the tough crackdown, protesters continue to rally and on Monday -- the eve of Myanmar's Buddhist new year celebrations -- fresh protests broke out in the second biggest city Mandalay as well as in Kalay, in the north. In the main business hub, Yangon, a number of city transport buses were set on fire.

The bloody crackdown by security forces under the Junta’s command has met with widespread international condemnation and calls for restraint -- as well as sanctions from some countries on Myanmar’s armed forces and their extensive business interests.

Myanmar was ruled by the military until 2011, when Suu Kyi ended the junta rule and introduced what were presented as reforms. She had been under house arrest before.

Her party, however, cultivated close relations with the military from the beginning of its activity and formed an alliance with senior military officers.

She supported the military in a deadly campaign of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim community in the western state of Rakhine.

Suu Kyi also defended military atrocities against the Rohingya people at the UN’s top court in The Hague in December 2019.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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