Myanmar Junta Hits Suu Kyi’s Lawyer With Gagging Order

By The Irrawaddy 15 October 2021

Myanmar’s junta has imposed a gagging order on the head lawyer representing State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who faces 11 charges, barring him from speaking to the media, foreign diplomats or international organizations.

The order came after lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw gave details of President U Win Myint’s court testimony, where he said the military threatened him to make him resign during the Feb. 1 coup. The president said he rejected the demand.

U Khin Maung Zaw said on Tuesday that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked him to publicize U Win Myint’s testimony, the first details of his detention since the coup.

Two days later, the gagging order under Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed.

The order stated that the lawyer has been talking to the media about the cases, including testimonies of plaintiffs, witnesses and defendants.

It added that the lawyer could cause “harassment or hurting to any person lawfully employed or disturbance to the public tranquility or riots”.

U Khin Maung Zaw posted on Facebook on Thursday night: “Well, they shut my mouth with 144.”

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint were both detained on Feb. 1 and have since been held at undisclosed locations.

The junta has brought 11 charges against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and two against U Win Myint.

The gagging order could prevent firsthand accounts of their weekly hearings reaching the public. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team has been the only source of information on the trials and their well-being.

In August, Yangon-based lawyer San Mar Lar Nyunt, who also represented Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was barred from speaking about the trials.

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