Myanmar Police have charged ousted State Chancellor, Aung San Suu Kyi with breaching the country’s import and export laws following a military takeover.
Military officers who searched the detained Suu Kyi’s residence found 10 hand-held radios that were imported illegally into the country, the document from a police station in the capital Naypyitaw said.
The document adds that the unregistered walkie-talkies had also been used by the 75-year-old Nobel laureate’s bodyguards without permission.
It said the reason for detention was “to question witnesses, request evidence and seek legal counsel after questioning the defendant.“
She has been remanded to custody until February 15.
A separate document showed the police have also filed charges against ousted President Win Myint for offenses under the Disaster Management Law. He is accused of meeting supporters in a 220-vehicle motorcade during an election campaign rally, in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
The charges against both politicians carry a maximum sentence of three years.
Myanmar’s military arrested Chancellor Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and several allies in a coup on Monday, February 1.
The army declared a one-year state of emergency citing failure on the part of authorities to resolve allegations of fraud in elections held in November last year. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the vote by a landslide.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said the coup did nothing but “rub salt in the wounds” of the millions who voted in November and warned the country could be heading back to “a ruthless military dictatorship.”
“These charges are ludicrous. This is an absurd move by the junta to try to legitimise their illegal power grab from Myanmar’s democratically-elected government,” said APHR Chair Charles Santiago.
Staff at 70 hospitals and medical departments across the country have joined forces to strike and create the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement in rejection of the coup.
The group says the army has put its own interests above a vulnerable population during the coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 3,100 people.
“We refuse to obey any order from the illegitimate military regime who demonstrated they do not have any regards for our poor patients.”
Myanmar’s Ministry of Information has however issued a statement warning the media and public not to spread rumours on social media or incite unrest. The statement urged people to cooperate with the new government led by commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
“Some media and public are spreading rumours on social media conducting gatherings to incite rowdiness and issuing statements which can cause unrest. We would like to urge the public not to carry out these acts and would like to notify the public to cooperate with the government in accordance with the existing laws.”
The Coup has received widespread condemnation, with the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, and the High Representative of the European Union releasing a joint statement demanding the military “immediately end the state of emergency, restore power to the democratically-elected government, to release all those unjustly detained and to respect human rights and the rule of law.”
US President Joe Biden has further threatened to impose fresh sanctions on the country, a move experts say will mostly hurt the people of Myanmar.