Myanmar police crack down on protests
Published : Monday, 1 March, 2021 at 10:03 PM Count : 142
Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared at a court hearing via video conferencing on Monday as supporters marched in several towns and cities in defiance of a crackdown after the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 military coup.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Yangon on Monday, witnesses said. They later combed through side streets firing rubber bullets and at least one person was hurt, media reported.
In an evening address on state television army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said protest leaders and “instigators” would be punished. The army was also investigating financial abuse by the civilian government, he said.
Suu Kyi, aged 75, looked in good health during her appearance before a court in the capital Naypyidaw, one of her lawyers said. Two more charges were added to those filed against her after the coup, she said.
“I saw Amay on the video, she looks healthy,” lawyer Min Min Soe told Reuters, using an affectionate term meaning “mother” to refer to Suu Kyi.
“She asked to meet her lawyer.”
The Nobel Peace laureate, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), has not been seen in public since her government was ousted and she was detained along with other party leaders.
She was initially charged with illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios. Later, a charge of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols was added.
On Monday, two more charges were added, one under a section of a colonial-era penal code prohibiting publication of information that may “cause fear or alarm”, and the other under a telecommunications law stipulating licences for equipment, the lawyer said.
The next hearing will be on March 15. Critics of the coup say the charges were trumped up.