Conflicts & War

Suu Kyi pleads not guilty of incitement

Bangkok, Sep 21 (EFE).- The ousted leader of Myanmar and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday pleaded not guilty of incitement under article 505(b) of the country’s criminal code in a trial in capital Naypyidaw,

One of Suu Kyi’s lawyers told EFE in a message that the leader, under arrest since the Feb. 1 coup, seemed in good health and that the next hearing was scheduled for Sep. 28.

The article 505(b) criminalizes the circulation of messages that cause “fear or alarm” and incite someone to commit a crime against the state.

Suu Kyi, who had excused herself from a hearing last week citing ill health, was on Tuesday present at a special court in Naypyidaw, where she is also being tried for a series of different charges, including violation of pandemic-related laws and the illegal import of walkie-talkies.

She is also named in other cases for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act, a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and corruption, including accepting bribes and abuse of power.

Suu Kyi has pleaded not guilty and the United Nations, the European Union and countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, among others, have called for her unconditional release.

The Myanmar junta justifies the coup citing alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory, and which were considered free and fair by international observers.

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

At least 1,114 people have lost their lives as a result of the violent repression of protests by security forces, while over 6,600 opponents are being detained, according to the Association for Assistance of Political Prisoners

The coup has also intensified the ongoing armed conflict in the country with the formation of new defense groups against the junta, many of them working under the umbrella of the opposition’s alternative government, consisting of former lawmakers and activists. EFE

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