Myanmar’s former state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi is to appear virtually for her hearing in the Naypyidaw Court after another bloody Sunday since last month’s military coup. She was detained after her civilian government was ousted by the Myanmar military.
The death of at least 38 anti-coup protestors by the security forces have been reported on Sunday. As per the assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group, the total death toll has risen more than 120.
Several Chinese-owned factories in Yangon’s textile district were torched as protestors believed Beijing behind the coup. The Beijing Embassy in Myanmar also condemned the act of protestors and urged the police to guarantee the security of Chinese businesses. State television also confirmed the death of a police officer in the city of Bago.
Previously, on 3rd March, around 18 people were killed as security forces used live ammunition against unarmed pro-democracy protests in four different cities.
Despite the junta’s forceful attempts to crush the dissent, protestors have been persistent for the last six weeks in their demand for restoration of democracy. She was previously charged for illegally importing walkie-talkies and violating Covid-19 restrictions while conducting an election campaign.
Recently, two new charges have been imposed on her – one, under an ancient act which bans publication of information that ‘disturbs tranquillity’ and another, under a telecommunication law which specifies equipment licenses.
Her government is also being investigated for financial misconduct. She is accused of accepting illegal payments of $600,000 in cash and gold.
The Nobel Laureate had spent 15 years in house arrest during the previous military regime and her Yangon court hearing is expected to start by 10 A.M. by video link.
Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw has complained that he has not been allowed to meet Suu Kyi since her detention. He also commented on Sunday’s violence, “The ruling junta has shown its teeth and taken its mask off… they are showing their true self.”
The international community has also expressed its concerns on rising violence in Myanmar. UN rights expert, Tom Andrews tweeted, “Heartbroken/outraged at news of the largest number of protestors murdered by Myanmar security forces in a single day. Junta leaders don’t belong in power, they belong behind bars. Their supply of cash & weapons must be cut now. I appeal to UN member states to heed my call to action.”
The state media, later on, Sunday night, announced the imposition of martial law on Yangon’s massive Hlaing Tharyar township and neighboring Shwepyitha township. The imposition of martial law means anyone arrested in these townships would face trial by military courts instead of civilian courts with their sentences anywhere in between three years’ extensive labor and execution