Feb 16, 2021 - World

Myanmar police file second charge against Aung San Suu Kyi

Picture of protesters in Myanmar holding a sign of Aung San Suu Kyi that says "Please save our leader"

Photo: Sai Aung Main/AFP via Getty Images

Police in Myanmar filed a new charge against democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi for violating the country's Natural Disaster Management Law, which is often used to prosecute people who have defied coronavirus restrictions, AP reports.

Why it matters: Suu Kyi, who was detained in a military coup on Feb. 1, was already facing a charge for illegally importing walkie-talkies. The new charge could allow her to be held indefinitely without a trial, after the military changed the Penal Code last week to allow law enforcement to detain people without court permission, per AP.

  • The maximum penalty for the coronavirus violation is three years in prison.
  • Former President Win Myint also faced charges under the same law for having public gatherings amid the pandemic.

The big picture: Protesters have continued to gather across the country to resist the military after it seized power, citing voter fraud in an election that Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.

  • A Myanmar military spokesperson said on Tuesday that Suu Kyi was "in good health," Deutsche Welle reports.
  • Suu Kyi is believed to be under house arrest in her home in Naypyitaw.

The U.S. and other countries have called for the Myanmar military to release Suu Kyi, and President Biden last week announced that he would sanction the leaders involved in the coup.

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