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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi faces two new criminal charges: lawyer

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Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is facing two new criminal charges in her court hearing via video link in Naypyidaw Monday, according to her lawyer.

The deposed civilian leader is accused of a violation of communications laws as well as inciting public unrest, lawyer Nay Tu told AFP, in addition to charges for possession of unregistered walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.

The next hearing date is scheduled for March 15, the lawyer said.

Suu Kyi’s appearance came as demonstrators took to the streets again across the country in defiance of an escalation of force from the junta that on Sunday resulted in the deadliest day of unrest since the takeover.

At least 18 people died on Sunday as troops and police fired live bullets at demonstrators in cities across Myanmar, according to the United Nations, which cited its own credible information.

Suu Kyi, 75, appeared healthy during Monday’s court appearance, lawyer Khin Maung Zaw, told AFP by telephone during a break in proceedings.

Suu Kyi was detained in Naypyidaw, the nation’s capital, before dawn on the day of the coup, and had not been since in public since.

She has reportedly been kept under house arrest in Naypyidaw, an isolated city that the military built during a previous dictatorship.

The military has justified its takeover, ending a decade-long democratic experiment, by making unfounded allegations of widespread fraud in last November’s national elections.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won the election in a landslide.

The generals have hit Suu Kyi with two charges the international community widely regards as frivolous — relating to importing walkie talkies and staging a campaign rally during the pandemic.

Monday’s court proceedings were preliminary matters in the case, including with Khin Maung Zaw seeking to formally represent her.

 

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