Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court today via a video link over charges brought against her by the new military junta.
Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing has justified the February 1 coup by alleging voter fraud in November’s elections, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won overwhelmingly.
Two days after the putsch, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate was hit with the unusual charge of violating Myanmar’s import and export law after a search of her home found walkie-talkies.
President Win Myint – who like Suu Kyi was detained in a dawn raid – was charged with violating coronavirus restrictions when he took part in a campaign event in September.
Both are expected to be questioned today and tomorrow through video conferencing, said lawyer Khin Maung Zaw outside a court in Naypyidaw, the capital, after a meeting with a judge.
Neither has been seen in public since the coup, though Suu Kyi’s party heard she was “in good health.”
Their detention period is to end on Wednesday, though the lawyer expects it to be extended.
Khin Maung Zaw said he would also be expected to represent Win Htein, 79, an NLD executive arrested after the coup.
Suu Kyi’s right-hand man and confidante, Win Htein had called on people to “oppose [the coup] as much as they can.”
He is charged with defamation.
Khin Maung Zaw had not been allowed to meet his clients by last night.
About 400 people have been detained, and authorities are stepping up detentions joining protests against the junta.
The junta deployed extra troops around the country yesterday and choked off the internet in the morning as it intensified the crackdown, but demonstrators again took to the streets.
The action included armored vehicles rolling through Yangon, the commercial hub and biggest city.
Although smaller than in previous days, rallies flared in many places, including near the central bank where troops were arrayed.
“Patrolling with armored vehicles means they are threatening people,” said 46-year-old Nyein Moe, among more than 1,000 in front of the bank.
“People are marching on the streets and they don’t care to be arrested or shot, [but] we can’t stop now. The fear in our minds is going away.”
Later, thousands gathered outside the Chinese and US embassies. They carried signs with messages including “We need US army to save our situation.”