Conflicts & War

Suu Kyi faces new electoral fraud charges, military says treating her well

Bangkok, Nov 16 (EFE).- The ruling Myanmar military has denied allegations that Aung San Suu Kyi was being mistreated in her house arrest, even as the junta added new electoral fraud charges against the jailed civilian leader, accusing her of abuse of power.

“We let her live with her own people in a house although she is under house arrest,” military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun has told BBC in an interview following the release of an American journalist Danny Fenster, sentenced to 11 years in prison.

“We try our best for her (Suu Kyi), what she wants or whatever she wants to eat,” the spokesperson said.

The Noble Peace laureate has been in detention since Feb.1, when the military seized power and toppled a democratically-elected civilian government in a coup that triggered massive public unrest in the restive Southeast Asian nation.

Suu Kyi, 76, faces a string of charges filed by the military junta despite international calls for the release of the ex de facto head of the Myanmar government.

She faces four corruption charges that carry a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison.

The military also accuses her of illegally acquiring land for a foundation she established in her mother’s memory and allegedly building a house with funds for the nonprofit.

She also faces charges related to violating the Official Secrets Act, a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Since the coup, street protests have continued against the military junta across the country, while civil disobedience has paralyzed the administration and the private sector.

The security forces have arrested more than 10,000 people since the coup, the date from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners showed.

On Tuesday, the official media reported that the Myanmar election commission had prosecuted Suu Kyi, ex-president U Win Myint, and 14 others for committing alleged fraud during the November 2020 polls.

The official Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the accused were involved in “electoral processes, election fraud and lawless actions.”

The commission said they misused the authority, violated laws in assigning the election sub-commissions, threatened officials to commit acts of obstruction, and conducted advance voting processes for the people aged 60 and above.

The military has already annulled the 2020 general election results.

The newspaper said the junta has “taken action against those who participated in electoral fraud and lawless actions with the aim of preventing a free and fair election by violating” electoral laws.

The Suu Kyi-led National League of Democracy won the election with an overwhelming majority.

International observers have said the polls were free and fair.

The military gagged information related to the legal proceedings against Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders in mid-October after defense lawyer Khin Maung Zaw indicated that the junta prohibited him from speaking to the media.

That has essentially rendered Suu Kyi and others incommunicado. EFE


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