The new accusation is for allegedly violating the law of natural disasters. The protesters were suppressed by water cannons and shots with rubber ammunition
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Burma’s military junta on Tuesday accused pro-democracy protesters of violence and attacking police without evidence, while more charges were brought against the deposed leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, amid renewed demonstrations.
In the first press conference since the coup on February 1, Army spokesman Zaw Min Tun indicated that anti-joint protesters are also threatening officials to join the civil disobedience movement. Zaw Min Tun once again justified the military uprising due to the alleged electoral fraud in the elections last November and reiterated the promise to hold new elections and hand over power to the winner within a year, he informed the BBC.
The appearance was held in the capital, Naipyidó, where many local media decided not to attend in protest against the military, who already ruled the country with an iron fist between 1962 and 2011. The military’s statements come after the security forces have been criticized by the UN and other countries for the excessive use of force, including water cannons and rubber and live ammunition, to disperse the protests.
New charges against Suu Kyi
The Burmese police filed a new charge against Suu Kyi on Tuesday for allegedly violating the law on natural disasters, her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, confirmed to Efe. The Nobel Peace Prize and State Councilor, under house arrest since the military coup, was charged on February 3 for illegally importing a telephone device, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. President Win Myint, also under arrest, is accused of breaking social distancing measures imposed by the pandemic when organizing an electoral event attended by more than 30 people.
According to the medium Myanmar NowToday, police used water cannons and fired rubber ammunition at protesters in Myaung Mya, located about 184 kilometers southwest of Yangon, the country’s most populous city and economic center. Other protests in Rangoon, although less numerous than on other days, were concentrated near the Central Bank, the United Nations offices and the United States Embassy, among other places.
The demonstrations were attended by monks, who carried banners against the military coup, which reminds many of the so-called Saffron Revolution of 2007 against the military that was led by Buddhist bonzes.
Many attendees carry posters of Suu Kyi, 75, who already spent 15 years under house arrest during the previous military junta, while others have rebelled by joining the civil disobedience movement. Both the United Nations, the United States and the European Union have called for the release of those detained in Burma and that the government elected at the polls be restored last November, while they have demanded that the right to peaceful protest be respected.
UN Deputy Speaker Farhan Haq said today that UN Special Envoy for Burma, Christine Schraner Burgener, had a telephone conversation with Burmese Board number two Soe Win asking her to respect the rights of the protesters. “She has expressed to the Burmese military that the world is vigilant and any excessive response (to the demonstrations) is likely to have serious consequences,” Haq said, according to a UN statement.
Burmese people also fear that an internet blackout will happen again tonight, like those caused by the authorities the past two nights and also on February 1 and 6. The military Junta has also blocked social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, although many bypass the ban through VPN programs, while reforming laws to subtract fundamental rights and allow arbitrary detentions.
The military junta, headed by the head of the Armed Forces, Min Aung Hlaing, justified the seizure of power by alleged electoral fraud in the elections last November in which the National League for Democracy, the party led by Suu Kyi, it swept, as it did in 2015. A total of 426 people have been arrested since the military uprising, of which 391 are still detained, according to the latest data collected by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP).
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism