Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi appears in court to face fresh charges


[01-03-2021 01:33 PM]

Ammon News - Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has been seen for the first time since she was detained in a military coup, after she appeared in court via video link, the BBC reported.

The ousted leader appeared to be in "good health" and asked to see her legal team, reports say.

Two new charges were announced against Ms Suu Kyi, who was arrested after the 1 February coup, the BBC noted.

Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets again despite Sunday seeing the deadliest day yet with 18 killed.

The deaths came as the military and police ramped up their response to demonstrations across the South East Asian nation over the weekend, firing into the crowds.

But protesters defied the crackdown on Monday, demanding the elected government be restored and Ms Suu Kyi and other leaders of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), be released from detention, the BBC indicated.

The military says it seized power because of alleged fraud in November's general elections, which saw the NLD win by a landslide.

It has provided no proof of these allegations - instead, it has replaced the Election Commission and promised fresh polls in a year.

Ms Suu Kyi, 75, was arrested when the coup began on 1 February and had not been seen in public until today's hearing, when she appeared via video link at the court in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw.

It is unclear where she has been held over the past month, but some reports suggest she was detained at her home in Nay Pyi Taw before being moved to an undisclosed location.

Ms Suu Kyi originally faced two charges of illegally importing walkie talkies and violating Myanmar's natural disaster law, but further charges were added on Monday, including breaching Covid-19 restrictions during the election campaign and for causing "fear and alarm".

The initial charges carried sentences of up to three years in jail. It is not clear what punishment the new charges might carry, but she could reportedly be barred from running in future elections if convicted.

The case has been adjourned until 15 March.

News agency Myanmar Now reported on Monday that ousted president Win Myint - a key ally of Ms Suu Kyi - had also been charged for incitement under the penal code.

Ms Suu Kyi's popularity has soared in Myanmar since her arrest, but her international reputation still remains tarnished by allegations that she turned a blind eye to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority Rohingya community.




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