Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s detained civilian leader, was seen for the first time on Monday since she was detained by the military leaders on February 1, after she appeared in the court through a video link. Meanwhile, her lawyers have maintained that Suu Kyi seemed to be in good health as two new charges were imposed on her.
Despite Sunday’s violent protests that resulted in as many as eighteen fatalities, tens of thousands of people took to the streets. The deaths came as the military regime toughed its crackdown on peaceful demonstrators over the weekend, reportedly firing into crowds. On Monday, the anti-coup protesters defied the crackdown and joined largely peaceful rallies across the South Asian country, demanding an immediate release of Suu Kyi and other detained leaders.
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On the other hand, the military has maintained that it toppled Suu Kyi’s government over irregularities in general elections, in which the ruling-NLD won a land sliding victory. But the army leadership is yet to provide any evidence to back their claims. In its first new briefing after the coup unfolded, the military had maintained that it was committed to holding fresh elections.
Until Monday’s hearing, Suu Kyi had not been seen and it remains unclear where she was kept in the last few weeks. Some reports suggest that she was kept under home arrest in the country’s capital before being moved to an undisclosed location. Originally, Suu Kyi faces charges of unlawfully importing walkie-talkies and violating Burma’s national disaster law. But on Monday, two new charges were added, accusing her of causing fear and chaos and illegal communication equipment.
The initial charges carry as many as three years in prison and it is unclear how many years the new charges might carry, but according to several reports, she could be banned from holding public office ever again, if convicted. Currently, the case has been adjourned until March 15th.
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