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Fresh charge filed against Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi

New charge may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial

Police in Myanmar filed a new charge against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial. Lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told that Suu Kyi has been charged with violating Article 25 of the Natural Disaster Management Law. This new charge has been used to prosecute people who have broken coronavirus restrictions.

The maximum punishment for the Covid-19 violation is three years’ imprisonment. As there is a change in the Penal Code instituted by the junta last week, the new charge may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial.

Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a military coup on Feb. 1, has already been charged with possessing walkie-talkies that were imported without being registered. Ousted President Win Myint was charged under the same law when he and Suu Kyi were detained during the army’s takeover.

Demonstrators hold posters depicting Aung San Suu Kyi during a march to protest against the military coup in Myanmar, in central Tokyo, Japan February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Demonstrators turned out in Yangon and other cities to protest the coup and demanded release of Suu Kyi and members. Police blocked the street in front of the Central Bank. Meanwhile Buddhist monks demonstrated outside the U.N.’s local office. All the protests are taking place despite an order banning gatherings of five or more people.

There prevails a widespread speculation that the government is installing a firewall system to monitor or block online activities. The council discussed taking legal action against protesters and providing “true information” to the media. It also emphasised on the need to resume public transport, an apparent reference to strikes and slowdowns by truckers and state railway workers.

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