Technology

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi detained on remand until Feb 17, says lawyer

Share
A man waves a flag next to an armoured vehicle during a protest against the military coup in Yangon Myanmar 14 February 2021

The Feb 1 coup and the arrest of Ms Suu Kyi and others have sparked the biggest protests in Myanmar in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, a joint statement from the United States, British and European Union ambassadors urged security forces not to harm civilians.

In a special session at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the original resolution presented by Britain and the European Union was revised to remove calls to bolster the ability of a United Nations rights expert to scrutinize Myanmar and for restraint from the country's military.

Monitoring group Netblocks said the "state-ordered information blackout" had taken Myanmar nearly entirely offline. "The world is watching".

Protesters hold signs calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon February 14, 2021.

Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing has justified the 1 February coup by alleging widespread voter fraud in November's elections, which Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept.

The state election commission refuted that contention, saying there is no evidence to support it.

The shutdown comes after a day of protesters taking to the streets in defiance of heavy troop presence around Yangon - although turnout was smaller than in recent days.

But the monitor noted that most users in Myanmar were still barred from social media.

On Sunday, the U.S. State Department authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency American government employees and their families.

Monday holds the prospect of two flashpoints for the political standoff.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer U Khin Maung Zaw told the media on Monday morning that he had been informed by the district attorney that the hearing was delayed until Wednesday, when her remand will end. Her freedom is a major demand of the protest movement.

The judge in Naypyitaw had spoken to Ms Suu Kyi by videoconference and she had asked if she could hire a lawyer, Mr Khin Maung Zaw told Reuters. He has not been able to make contact with Suu Kyi.

Over the weekend the military continued to escalate its crackdown on dissent, with security forces in the country's northern Kachin state firing on protesters at a power plant Sunday, after a crowd had gathered there believing the military would cut off the electricity, according to social media video and local reports.

Mandalay, the country's second largest city, saw a clash which left at least six injured after police used slingshots against protesters and fired rubber bullets into the crowd.

The U.N.'s top human rights body on Friday passed a consensus resolution urging the military to immediately release Suu Kyi and other civilian government leaders while watering down a draft text amid pressure led by China and Russian Federation. They accuse Beijing of propping up the military regime and applaud Washington's actions sanctioning the military.

People should inform the police if they spot any of the seven people named and will be punished if they shelter them, the army's True News information team said in a statement on its Facebook page on Saturday.

Eight days of street demonstrations are estimated to have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the streets despite the threat of six months' imprisonment for violating an order banning gatherings of five or more people.

The army has carried out nightly mass arrests and on Saturday gave itself sweeping powers to detain people and search private property.

Since the cases were filed with the court, the global community has condemned them.

"I want to go back to Myanmar to join them but can not because of the situation (travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic)".

The truth of the allegations about government-directed thugs is hard to verify, even with videos claiming to show their activities.

In several cases, neighbours and others people rushed to the scene in such numbers that security forces abandoned their attempts to haul in their targets.

So far, 400 people - including striking workers - have been detained since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners monitoring group.

Share