UPDATED: Myanmar Junta Charges Senior NLD Lawyer Under Counter-Terrorism Law

By The Irrawaddy 29 April 2022

Daw Ywat Nu Aung, a prominent lawyer from the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, has been charged under the Counter-Terrorism Law after being arrested by the military regime on Wednesday in Mandalay.

Regime spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said she was charged under Section 50(j) of the Counter-Terrorism Law as she financed a local People’s Defence Force (PDF) resistance group.

“An arrested treasurer of a PDF in Mandalay confessed that she financially supported them. That’s why she was arrested and charged,” he said.

The junta has branded Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, its parliamentary wing the Committee Representing Pyihtaungsu Hluttaw, and its armed wing the People’s Defence Forces as terrorist groups for alleged acts of incitement against the junta.

Under Section 50(j) of the Counter-Terrorism Law, Daw Ywat Nu Aung faces up to 15 years in jail if she is found guilty.

A source said that the lawyer and her assistant were arrested as they left Mandalay’s Obo Prison on Wednesday, where she was part of the legal team defending ousted Mandalay Chief Minister and NLD vice chairperson Dr. Zaw Myint Maung in his trial for alleged corruption. Police opened a case against her on Thursday.

The source added that Daw Ywat Nu Aung’s Mandalay office was searched by the security forces around 4am on Friday, citing residents in the neighborhood.

“They came in a military convoy and brought Daw Ywat Nu Aung along with them,” he said.

Her colleagues said that they had no idea where the lawyer is being held.

As well as helping to defend Dr. Zaw Mying Maung, Daw Ywat Nu Aung was also representing other prominent NLD figures detained by the junta, including NLD chair U Win Htein. She is also the NLD’s senior official for Mandalay Region.

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