A protester holds a sign with the image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon. File/AFP
A Myanmar court filed two more charges against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday, a lawyer acting for her said. Suu Kyi looked well as she took part in a court hearing via video conferencing in the capital, Naypyitaw, and she asked to see her legal team, lawyer Min Min Soe told Reuters.
The leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has not been seen in public since her government was ousted in a Feb.1 military coup, when she was detained along with other party leaders.
“I saw A May on the video, she looks healthy,” the lawyer said, using an affectionate term that means “mother” to refer to Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi was initially charged with illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios. Later, a charge of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols was added.
On Monday, a charge was added under a section of the colonial-era penal code prohibiting the publication of information that may “cause fear or alarm” or disrupt “public tranquillity,” Min Min Soe said.
Another charge was added under a telecommunications law, the lawyer said, which stipulates equipment needs a licence.
The next hearing will be on March 15.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power after alleging fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s NLD in a landslide.
As Suu Kyi appeared in the video conference court hearing, police in the main city of Yangon used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse protesters, witnesses said, a day after the worst violence since the coup.
There were no immediate reports of any casualties on Monday but the previous day, police opened fire on crowds in various parts of the country killing 18 people, the UN human rights office said.
The protesters took to the streets in defiance of the authorities' escalating use of violence, with dozens killed on Sunday in the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 coup.
A prominent Myanmar journalist accused of defaming a hardline nationalist monk dubbed the “Buddhist Bin Laden” has had the case against him dropped, his lawyer said.
Western countries have condemned the coup and called for an end to the violence and for the release of Suu Kyi and others. Asian neighbours have offered to help find a solution to the crisis.
The images ricochet across the planet, as so many do in this dizzying era of film it, upload it, tell it to the world: scenes from a protest-turned-government crackdown, captured at ground level by smartphone users on the streets of Myanmar.
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack and repeated the UN's "commitment to support the Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve peace and stability".
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