The Myanmar police filed formal charges against the former head of government, Aung San Suu Kyi, Wednesday for violating import and export laws. She is also being charged for possession of 10 hand-held radios found by the military at her residence in Naypyidaw. The police allege that these communication devices were illegally imported and used without permission.
Suu Kyi was ousted from the office of State Counsellor on February 1, following a military coup. According to the police, she will remain in custody until mid-February for further investigation, including the questioning of witnesses and evidence collection. Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Naypyidaw and has asked the people “not to accept this [coup], to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.”
The police have also filed charges against the ousted President Win Myint under the Disaster Management Law for violating COVID-19 protocol during the 2020 general election campaign. The military has already declared the results of this election illegitimate on account of voted fraud. Several other leaders of the ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD), including the NLD spokesman, Central Committee members, and State and Region Ministers have been arrested.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) has expressed concern over the “declaration of the state of emergency … and arbitrary detention of members of the Government.” Members of the UNSC have called for the immediate release of all those detained and emphasized “the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence and fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.”
Several countries, including the Group of 7, comprising the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan, as well as the EU, India, Indonesia and Malaysia have also expressed concern over the military coup and urged restoring of the democratic process.