March 6, 2021

News PK

Latest Updates

Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi charged with second offence

Myanmar police have filed a second charge against deposed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi – which may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial.

The military seized power in Myanmar in a coup on 1 February, forcing Ms Suu Kyi into detention.

She was initially charged with importing walkie-talkies but lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told local media she was now facing a second charge – of violating the country’s National Disaster Management Law.

The law has been used to prosecute people who have broken coronavirus restrictions.

The maximum punishment for the COVID-19 violation is three years’ imprisonment.

However, the new charge may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial because a change in the Penal Code instituted by the junta last week permits detention without court permission.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with breaching import and export laws
Image: Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won an election landslide last November – but has been denied power

This weekend saw mass demonstrations demanding the release of the ousted leader.

More from Aung San Suu Kyi

Some members of the security forces used violence against the protesters – driving tanks into major cities and opening fire on the crowds.

It came after the ruling junta issued a new order suspending several basic civil liberties and imposing a night-time curfew on the population.

More than 384 people have been detained since the coup.

As well as the mass protests across Myanmar, the country’s military rulers were also faced with a strike by government workers, part of a civil disobedience movement to protest the takeover.

Peaceful demonstrations resumed on Tuesday following the news of Ms Suu Kyi’s latest charge.

Groups turned out early in many cities including Yangon, where police blocked off the street in front of the Central Bank, which protesters have targeted amid speculation online the military is seeking to seize money from them.

Buddhist monks demonstrated outside the UN’s local office.

The protests are taking place in defiance of an order banning gatherings of five or more people.

The army launched its coup after claiming last November’s general election – which Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won in a landslide – was fraudulent.

The electoral commission dismissed the army’s complaints.