06/10/2021, 15.11
MYANMAR
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Aung San Suu Kyi also accused of corruption

The ousted leader faces up to 15 years in prison after she is charged for a seventh time. Meanwhile, regime opponents struggle to get medical treatment. A plane crashed this morning in an incident unrelated to the ongoing fighting between the military and anti-coup forces.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – Myanmar’s military regime has charged Aung San Suu Kyi with a new charge, the seventh.

The leader of the civilian government ousted by the generals in February is accused of corruption and abusing her authority, government-owned newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar reported.

According to the ruling military junta, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) accepted bribes in gold and cash worth US$ 600,000. This is the most serious charge against her to date, and for which she faces up to 15 years in prison. 

Other charges include breaching official secrecy, the illegal importation of walkie-talkies and incitement to public disorder. Independent news website The Irrawaddy notes that if Suu Kyi, 75, is found guilty of all charges, she could spend the next 25 years in prison.

Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, told AFP news agency that the latest allegations “absurd”. In his view, the charges are a way “to keep her out of the scene”.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in various parts of the country. But, for regime opponents, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain medical treatment.

Many of those hurt during the protests refuse to be treated in state hospitals controlled by the military, preferring instead to secretly turn to sympathetic doctors.

“They fear arrest”, said Marjan Besuijen, head of mission for Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in Myanmar.

On Tuesday, the humanitarian organisation was asked to suspend its activities in the country. MSF operated in the town of Dawei in the south of the country, treating tuberculosis and HIV patients at its facilities.

Despite the unrest and violence of the last four months, MSF had managed to continue its work until two days ago. However, in a report last month, the humanitarian group wrote that some of their partners in Myanmar have witnesses raids on organisations “providing first aid to injured protesters, and seen their supplies destroyed.”

This morning, a plane also crashed in the central Mandalay region. A military aircraft, which had left the capital Naypyidaw for Pyin Oo Lwin, was carrying 14 people: a six-member crew, a senior monk and several donors. Twelve died while two were injured.

According to a statement from a military spokesman, Zaw Min Tun, the accident was caused by poor weather conditions.

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