Myanmar's Suu Kyi Hit With Two New Criminal Charges

Henrietta Brewer
March 3, 2021

State broadcaster MRTV said late Monday that more than 1,300 people were arrested and eleven killed on Sunday, adding that security forces have been directed not to use live rounds against protesters.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide. At least two dozen journalists have been detained since the military's takeover.

"Throughout the day, in several locations throughout the country, police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations using lethal force and less-than-lethal force", said a statement from United Nations human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani.

"The coup has not only shattered my dream to introduce Japan's advanced health care and nursing systems to Myanmar, but more importantly deprived people in Myanmar of hard-won freedom and democracy", Lae Lae Lwin, one of about 32,000 Myanmar residents in Japan, said in an interview in Tokyo. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody.

The AP has called for his immediate release.

Suu Kyi has reportedly been kept under house arrest in the capital of Naypyidaw, an isolated city purpose-built under Myanmar's previous junta.

Anti-regime striker Sithu Aung, a 22-year-old Technological University student who joined the protest simply because he opposed dictatorship, said he also feared the loss of his future if Myanmar was again isolated from the worldwide community under the regime due to sanctions.

The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reported that there had been 19 confirmed deaths in nine cities, with another 10 deaths unconfirmed.

Protesters also took up their flags and banners and assembled to march through the streets of Dawei, a small city in southeastern Myanmar that has seen nearly daily large demonstrations against the coup.

Elsewhere, Tin New Yee died from a suspected heart attack in a teachers' protest when police swooped in to disperse the crowd with stun grenades.

Demonstrators protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 17, 2021. But in many cases, photos and video circulated showed circumstances of the killings and gruesome photos of bodies.

The independent Assistance Association of Political Prisoners reported that it was aware that about 1,000 people were detained Sunday, of whom they were able to identify 270.

While the military has steadily increased the type of force used to try to contain the uprising, beginning with tear gas and water cannons, the weekend's violence was the biggest escalation.

Some protesters called on Monday for destruction of surveillance cameras used by authorities, and shared pepper spray recipes on social media.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and USA officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken have condemned the violence.

USA officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the violence.

Washington is among those that have levied sanctions, and Sullivan said it would "impose further costs on those responsible", promising details "in the coming days".

Myanmar's tallest leader Aung San Suu Kyi, denied a second tenure in power by a military takeover on February 1, faced court on Monday through a video link, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said.

US Secretary of State Blinken on Sunday said the United States stood firmly with the people of Myanmar.

Police also hurled stun grenades outside a Yangon medical school, sending doctors and students in white lab coats scattering. Shin Moe Myint, a 23-year-old freelance photojournalist, was beaten by several police officers before being taken away.

Police also aggressively sought to break up protests in other cities, including Mandalay and Dawei.

"We hope all sides in Myanmar will exercise utmost restraint and engage in dialogue in order to achieve peaceful resolution of the situation and the return to normalcy for the interests of the Myanmar people", the Thai foreign ministry said in a statement.

In the coastal town of Dawei, security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the middle of the road, witnesses said.

Other reports by iNewsToday