Myanmar Military Sues Suu Kyi and President with Further Charges

By The Irrawaddy 1 March 2021

YANGON – In the latest attempts to legalize the detention of Myanmar’s democratically elected leaders, President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the military regime issued more charges against them on Monday.

The pair have been remanded in custody since early February.

During a video conference court hearing in Naypyitaw, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi faced two more charges for incitement and using walkie-talkies without a license under 505(b) of the Penal Code and Telecommunications Law.

She has already been sued under the Export and Import Law for possessing “illegally” imported walkie-talkies. On Feb. 16, she was handed another charge under the Natural Disaster Management Law, probably for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions during the recent election campaign.

She now faces four charges, carrying a total of nine years’ imprisonment.

On Monday, the junta also sued U Win Myint and Naypyitaw Mayor Dr. Myo Aung under Article 505(b) for incitement.

Article 505(b) punishes anyone deemed to be causing fear or alarm through an offense against the state or “public tranquility” with up to two years in prison.

The president was sued under the Natural Disaster Management Law last month for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions during the election campaign.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has still not met her lawyer after a month in detention.

U Khin Maung Zaw, one of her two lawyers, said she asked the judge on Monday to see her legal advisers.

“The judge told the police to make it happen,” he said.

U Khin Maung Zaw said a submission for paperwork was made to the police for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s signature on Feb. 16 to allow the lawyers to represent her in court. There has been no reply.

He said she has the right to legal representation in court.

“So far she has not received a fair trial as there is no lawyer to represent her. Her human rights have been abused,” U Khin Maung Zaw added.

Protests against the regime, calling for the release of the president, state counselor and other detainees, have been continuing throughout the country for more than three weeks.

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