Myanmar Regime Charges Rival Vice-President with High Treason
By The Irrawaddy 18 March 2021
Myanmar’s military regime has accused the elected lawmakers’ appointee as vice-president, Mahn Win Khaing Than, of high treason.
He is the third person accused by the coup leaders of high treason.
The police on Wednesday said Mahn Win Khaing Than faces the charges for accepting the appointment from the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Parliament) or CRPH, made up of deposed National League for Democracy parliamentarians.
Mahn Win Khaing Than, a former speaker, was re-elected in Myawaddy, Karen State, in November’s general election.
The CRPH was formed following the Feb. 1 coup to undermine the legitimacy of the regime at home and abroad. The coup leaders detained the civilian leaders, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.
The case was opened against him on Wednesday at Myawaddy District Court under Article 122(1) of the Penal Code “for giving a speech as a rival government head of the country” and “calling for the overthrow” of the regime’s governing body, the State Administrative Council (SAC), according to the military-controlled state media.
Article 122(1) carries the death sentence or life imprisonment.
Mahn Win Khaing Than urged the security forces and civil servants who have not yet joined the civil disobedience movement to show allegiance to the citizens not to the interests of “a group of people” during his first address to the country on Saturday.
His warning came as the junta’s security forces stepped up the killing of peaceful protesters and bystanders.
By Wednesday, at least 216 people have been killed by the security forces in crackdowns on protesters and beatings of detained civilians.
On Wednesday, the regime also issued an arrest warrant for U Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s permanent United Nations representative, who was charged with high treason for his speech to the UN General Assembly on Feb. 26.
U Kyaw Moe Tun says he still represents Myanmar as he was appointed by the democratically elected NLD government, which is still recognized internationally. He said he stands with the CRPH and urged the international community to help restore democracy.
The regime said he had been sacked as a civil servant the following day and accused him of high treason for appealing for global help and “attempting to destroy” the SAC. But U Kyaw Moe Tun continues to represent Myanmar at the UN.
He is charged with high treason under Article 122(2) of the Penal Code, for those committing the offense outside Myanmar.
This week the regime also issued an arrest warrant for Dr. Sasa, the CRPH-appointed international envoy, for committing high treason for his efforts to topple the coup leaders.
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