Suu Kyi makes first in-person court appearance since arrest in Myanmar
Aung San Suu Kyi, the deposed leader of Myanmar, appeared in court on Monday in person for the first time since she and the country’s democratically elected government were ousted by a military coup.
The Associated Press reports that Suu Kyi was able to meet with her defense team for about half an hour before her hearing began, citing one of her lawyers Min Min Soe. Suu Kyi has previously made court appearances via video link and had not been permitted to meet with her lawyers in person.
The hearing on Monday had to do with six charges against Suu Kyi. According to the AP, she faces two counts of violating the Natural Disaster Management Law for alleged COVID-19 restriction violations; the illegal importation of walkie-talkies for her bodyguards; unlicensed use of the radios; and spreading information that could cause public alarm or unrest.
Min Min Soe relayed to the AP that Suu Kyi wished to tell the people of Myanmar that her National League for Democracy (NLD) party would stand by them.
According to the lawyer, Suu Kyi said, “Since the NLD was founded for the people, the NLD will exist as long as the people exist.”
The head of Suu Kyi’s legal team, Khin Maung Zaw, told the AP that the former leader appeared to be “fit and alert and smart, as always.”
Suu Kyi and her party were ousted in February after winning a landslide democratic general election that would have given them five more years in power. The military junta claimed widespread election fraud had occurred and they were justified in their seizure of power.
Ever since the military coup occurred, countless protests have broken out across the nation, resulting in hundreds of demonstrators being killed by security forces, including several children.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), at least 818 people have been killed and 5,392 have been arrested by the military junta, as of Sunday.
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