Myanmar Military Slaps Suu Kyi With One More Charge

By The Irrawaddy 16 February 2021

YANGON — Myanmar’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was sued with an extra charge on Tuesday for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, a charge that could hand her an extra three years in prison.

The military regime initially sued her under the Export and Import Law, accusing her of possessing illegally imported walkie-talkies. It carries up to three years’ imprisonment.

Despite a postponement of her hearing until Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint were tried by video conference on Tuesday at Zabuthiri Township Court in Naypyitaw. They are both remanded in custody.

They have been detained since the coup on Feb. 1. The military regime sued the president under the Natural Disaster Management Law.

On Tuesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw told the media that she was also being sued under the Natural Disaster Management Law (probably for breaching COVID-19 restrictions during the election campaign.)

There were no more new charges for the president, the lawyer said.

The township court information officer Daw Nang Aye Mya Thiri told the media after the hearing that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi agreed to hire a lawyer to represent her in court while U Win Myint would defend himself. He used to be a lawyer.

The 70-year-old president is accused of violating COVID-19 restrictions by “greeting a National League for Democracy campaign rally with his wife and daughter at the gate of his presidential residence in September”. The statement claimed that the rally was attended by around 760 people. The health ministry set a maximum attendance of 50 people for political campaign events amid COVID-19. Other political parties also staged large rallies.

If found guilty, the president could face up to three years in prison.

Their next hearings are set for March 1.

Meanwhile, protests against the coup and rallies calling for the release of the president and state counselor are continuing throughout the country since last week.

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