Myanmar's detained leader Suu Kyi faces additional charges: lawyer

Myanmar's detained leader Suu Kyi faces additional charges: lawyer

If we don't resist out of fear, we would be enslaved by them.

RELEASE HER Protesters hold signs calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Sunday, February 14, 2021.

Suu Kyi's lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, told AFP he had not been able to speak to her ahead of Monday's scheduled court hearing, which is for preliminary matters and where she may appear only via video link.

She was detained by the military on February 1 and charged with illegally importing handheld radios and using them without permission.

Two more charges were added to those filed against her immediately after the coup.

"She said at the hearing that she wanted to meet with her lawyer", Min Min Soe, a member of Suu Kyi legal team, told Myanmar Now.

On Monday, a charge was added under a colonial-era penal code prohibiting the publication of information that may "cause fear or alarm" or disrupt "public tranquillity".

The coup, which brought a halt to tentative steps towards democracy after almost 50 years of military rule, has drawn hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets and the condemnation of Western countries.

"The global community must stand in solidarity with the protestors and all those seeking a return to democracy in Myanmar" Shamdasani concluded.

Echoing Nyi Nyi's final words on Facebook calling for more action from the worldwide community, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said on Twitter: "Words of condemnation are welcome but insufficient".

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday she hoped to use Washington's presidency of the United Nations Security Council in March to push for more "intense discussions" on Myanmar.

"Words of condemnation are welcome but insufficient. Asean already has an ad-hoc task force for the Rakhine state and we can further strengthen it to carry out this mission", Retno said.

Tear gas and fire extinguisher gas floats around demonstrators as they take shelter while clashing with riot police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon Myanmar on Tuesday. | REUTERS

"The nightmare in Myanmar that is unfolding before our eyes will get worse". Indeed, it is likely that ASEAN, like the wider world, will be end up being forced to react to events, rather than leading them.

People marked the deaths of demonstrators with red and white roses, circling with yellow, white and pink flowers the spot in front of a school where one protester was killed.

Confirming the deaths of protesters has been hard amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and the capital of Naypyitaw. Greater numbers of soldiers also joined police. Security forces fired again later in the day and one woman was killed, a Mandalay resident said.

In downtown Pansodan Road, near the famed Sule pagoda intersection, protesters pasted print-outs of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing's face on the ground - a tactic aimed at slowing down security forces who will avoid standing on the portraits. At least 18 people were killed, the United Nations human rights office said.

The military has not commented on yesterday's violence and police and military spokesmen did not answer calls.

In a post dated February 28, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar warned "severe action will be inevitably taken" against "anarchic mobs" that the military could not ignore, despite having previously shown restraint.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said at least 270 people were detained yesterday, from a total 1,132 it said had been arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. "The police are arresting, beating and even shooting at the people", the cardinal said, according to the RFA.

State-run MRTV television said more than 470 people had been arrested on Saturday.

"The situation in any one country should not be an impediment to ASEAN's efforts to pursue and advance its interests internationally", he said.

China has not condemned the coup and emphasized other countries should not interfere in Myanmar's internal affairs, raising the suspicion that Beijing may be propping up the junta to boost its clout in the country as a major arms supplier, aid donor and trading partner.

Myanmar's generals have made clear they have no intention of returning the nation to isolation, vowing to hold elections after a yearlong state of emergency.

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