03/18/2021, 10.33
MYANMAR
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Fresh charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, she now faces 15 years in prison

by Francis Khoo Thwe

A businessman says he gave her a $ 500,000 bribe. Lawyers prohibited from meeting the "Lady". House-to-house night raids to track down protesters. Residents forced to dismantle the barricades. More than 210 dead and 2200 arrests.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - The military junta has laid another charge against the democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who could now face up to 15 years in prison.

State television released a video in which builder Maung Weik says he gave the "Lady" - as she is called by the population - a $ 550,000 bribe to facilitate her projects. He himself says that there were no other witnesses.

She is now charged with corruption as well as possession of some foreign walkie-talkies (violation of export laws); having violated the anti-Covid rules; having held incitement rallies against the state; using funds to help a foundation build a professional start-up center in Naypyidaw, paying for the land at less than market value.

In an attempt to destroy the image of the Democratic leader, whose party swept the November elections, the authorities also banned lawyers from meeting Aung San Suu Kyi.

The "Lady" has been under house arrest since the first day of the coup. But in all the demonstrations that are sweeping the country - against the bans and curfew imposed by the military - her release and that of all political prisoners is demanded.

Meanwhile, the general strike and civil disobedience continue throughout the country, with banks, offices, shops closed. And the junta is stepping up violence and repression. Especially in Yangon, security forces carry out door-to-door raids threatening to kill people in the house and arresting hidden protesters.

Barricades have been built to block the charges of the police in several cities. The army has given orders that the residents of each neighbourhood clear the streets of obstacles. Some neighbourhoods have begun dismantling, but many refuse and leave the barricades in the middle of the streets. According to human rights associations, the military has so far killed more than 210 protesters and made 2,200 arrests.

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