Myanmar police files charges against Suu Kyi, who remains detained

Update 1: Re-ledes with Suu Kyi charges, changes headline

Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 3 (efe-epa).- Myanmar’s police pressed charges Wednesday against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who will remain in detention two more weeks for violating an import and export law.

According to police reports to which EFE had access, Suu Kyi is accused of possessing in her home an illegally imported telephone, the use of which is only allowed by the government or the army.

Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest since Monday, when the army carried out a coup, could face a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Police also filed charges against deposed President U Win Myint, accused of breaking COVID-19 protocol by having displaced 220 vehicles to visit some areas with his wife when the law prohibited gatherings of more than 30 people.

U Kyi Toe, a member of the central communications committee of the National League for Democracy (NLD), confirmed the charges against the deposed president and state councilor on Facebook.

While Win Myint was questioned at a Yangon military facility, it is unclear whether Suu Kyi is at her official residence in Naipyitaw under house arrest or has been transferred for questioning.

On Tuesday a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party said that the Nobel Peace Prize winner was still under house arrest at her official residence in the capital and was “in good health.”

Suu Kyi, called Monday on citizens not to accept the military coup and to protest.

Myint, 69, was detained Monday by the military along with leader Aung San Suu Kyi and held under house arrest in the capital Naypyitaw.

“President U Win Myint now is in an interrogation center in Yangon,” the source told EFE.

Myint served as president from 2018, although the de-facto leader of the country was Suu Kyi, who was appointed State Councilor, a position designed to circumvent the article of the Constitution that bans those with immediate relatives holding foreign citizenship from the presidency. Both her sons hold British citizenship.

While the military has kept the country’s top leaders under its watch, it has released a number of chief ministers, state and regional lawmakers and government officials since Monday.

More than 350 members of parliament have been ordered to leave the government residences in which they were being held, but for reasons not yet clear, the MPs refuse to leave until Saturday.

“The Tatamadaw (armed forces) arrived this morning and asked us to go home. Our leaders decided not to go home until February 6,” an NLD parliamentarian who wanted to remain anonymous told EFE on Wednesday.

“Yesterday, the Tatmadaw agreed to our decision to stay, but now they ordered us to leave. But we’re not leaving.”

The military on Monday declared a state of emergency to hold onto power for a year, citing electoral fraud in the November elections, and promised to hold new elections after which they would hand over power to the winner.

Despite starting a “disciplined democracy” a decade ago, the military had never fully renounced power, retaining 25 percent of the seats in parliament and the influential ministries of the Home Affairs, Border and Defense. EFE-EPA


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