Myanmar arrests prominent political leader, close aide of Suu Kyi

Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- Police in Myanmar arrested one of the main leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party and close aide of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, five days after a military coup.

Win Htein was arrested after midnight at his daughter’s house in Yangon, the country’s former capital and most populated city, NLD spokesperson Kyi Toe said Friday on Facebook.

Win Htein, 80, a member of the NLD’s Central Executive Committee, had returned Thursday to Yangon from Naypyitaw, the country’s capital where he lives and where he has been taken after his arrest.

The veteran politician spent more than 20 years behind bars for challenging the military junta that ruled Myanmar between 1962 and 2011.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said in a Thursday statement that at least 147 people, including Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint as well as another 131 politicians and 14 activists, have been arrested since the military seized control of the country Monday.

“These arbitrary detentions are an effort to subdue the democratic election of Nov. 8, 2020,” the association said.

The NLD scored a landslide victory in the elections, securing 83 percent of the parliamentary seats.

Numerous protests and civil disobedience movements have emerged countrywide in the days after the coup.

Authorities, which blocked Facebook on Thursday, have increased repression against these demonstrations and arrested several demonstrators, people close to some of the detainees told to EFE.

Protests had been announced Friday in several universities.

Suu Kyi, whose whereabouts have been unknown since Tuesday, has been charged with illegally importing communications equipment, punishable by three years in prison.

The military seized power alleging massive fraud in the November elections without providing any evidence.

After governing the country for nearly five decades, the military ceded power in 2011 to a civilian government with heavy military influence and held the country’s first democratic elections in more than half a century in 2015, which were won by NLD. EFE-EPA


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