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Myanmar Military Coup: Aung Suu Kyi to face court today

Mahima

Exiled Myanmar’s State Counsellor and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained subsequent to last month’s military coup, is due to appear in court via video conferencing today after a weekend suppression against insistent democracy protests.

Suu Kyi’s confidante, Win Htein, in his interview by the local media after the military takeover called on the people of Myanmar to “oppose (the coup) as much they can.” Hundreds of thousands of people over the past month took part in protests for democracy have been persistent following which security forces open fired on unarmed protestors in four cities on Sunday. 

The UN declared it has credible information that at least 18 people have died. In a video footage filmed by AFP, a person crouching behind dustbins and other makeshift shields in Yangon was shot and he had to be dragged away by others.

While AFP independently confirmed 8 deaths in Sunday’s violence, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners estimated the death toll to be around 30 and 400 detainees since the military coup on Feb 1.

The Western Powers have consistently condemned the military and imposed sanctions but the military has escalated its use of force as a response to growing internal and external pressure. Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN human rights office said, “We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protesters.”

Suu Kyi has neither been seen nor heard since the coup and her present location is reported to be in Naypyidaw, the secluded capital city built by the military during its former dictatorship. Veteran human rights lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, is expected to be representing her.

However, speaking to AFP, he disclosed that he has not been permitted to speak to her ahead of Monday’s scheduled court hearing. ‘It will be very unfair for her not to grant a lawyer immediately,’ he further added while hoping the Court approves his status as her defence lawyer officially.

Two days after the military coup, the rare charge of violating the import and export laws for illegally importing walkie-talkies were pressed on the 75-year-old Nobel Laureate after a search of her house was conducted.

Suu Kyi along with President Win Myint has also been charged with violating coronavirus restrictions while staging a campaign rally during the pandemic in September.

Army General Min Aung Hlaing justified the takeover by making unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud in November’s national elections in which Suu Kyi’s party (NLD) had a landslide victory.

Read also: Suu Kyi presented to court- with no lawyer or legal representative