Myanmar’s military junta announced new charges against Aung san Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint

Aung San Suu Kyi REUTERS / Ann Wang / File Photo

Burma’s military junta announced on Tuesday new charges for alleged electoral fraud in the November 2020 elections against the country’s former “de facto” leader Aung San Suu Kyi and against former president Win Myint, detained after the coup d’état of the February 1st.

According to the information collected by the official newspaper ‘The Global New Light of Myanmar’, a total of 16 people, including the former president of the electoral commission Hla Thein, have been indicted for “electoral fraud” and “illegal actions” in the 2020 elections, in which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a wide margin.

Thus, the defendants are suspected of violating the law when establishing the electoral subcommittees, threatening their members to “obstruct” the electoral process, advance the vote to favor people 60 years of age or older, and force administrators premises to include in the censuses people without the right to vote, among other alleged actions.

REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo
REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo

The newspaper recalled that the electoral commission annulled the results of the elections after the military coup d’état and has taken actions against those suspected of participating in electoral fraud or in actions to prevent “free and fair elections.”

Suu Kyi, 76, was arrested hours after the military riot. Justice accuses her of having committed a dozen crimes, among which are the violation of foreign trade laws, the violation of measures against the coronavirus, acts of corruption and incitement to sedition.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner remains under house arrest since the military coup, given just before the Parliament emerged from the polls took office, after weeks of criticism from the Army and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which maintains ties with the Armed Forces.

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar's junta chief Major General Min Aung Hlaing, who overthrew the elected government in a coup, presides over an army parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27. 2021. REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Myanmar’s junta chief Major General Min Aung Hlaing, who overthrew the elected government in a coup, presides over an army parade on Armed Forces Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on March 27. 2021. REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo

Meanwhile, American journalist Danny Fenster was released on Monday, days after being sentenced to eleven years in prison. Upon his arrival in Qatar on a stopover on his flight to the United States, Fenster has said he was not assaulted in custody.

“They arrested me and held me captive for no reason, but physically I was fine. I did not go hungry or they attacked me ”, he has said in statements to the press from Doha. “They are the same deprivations associated with any type of incarceration, you go a little crazy and the more time passes the more you worry that it will never end. That was my biggest concern, “he added.

He also stressed that he hopes to continue working to report on the situation of other jailed journalists in Burma and added that will try to “do everything possible to lobby on your behalf.” “We are trying and we hope to get them out of there”, has riveted.

FILE PHOTO: The editor-in-chief of online magazine Frontier Myanmar, American journalist Danny Fenster, appears at an unknown location in this undated photo (distributed by his outlet) accessed by Reuters on November 12, 2021. Frontier Myanmar / Handout via REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: The editor-in-chief of online magazine Frontier Myanmar, American journalist Danny Fenster, appears at an unknown location in this undated photo (distributed by his outlet) accessed by Reuters on November 12, 2021. Frontier Myanmar / Handout via REUTERS

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, applauded Fenster’s release and stressed that “he was wrongly detained for almost six months.” “We are glad that Danny will soon be reunited with his family as we continue to call for the release of others who remain unjustly imprisoned in Burma,” he added.

Fenster was sentenced on Friday to eleven years in prison for visa violation, irregular association with an illegal group and incitement, charges he rejects, while he was still awaiting another trial against him on terrorism and sedition charges.

The journalist had been imprisoned for six months in Insein prison, located in the city of Rangoon, and is one of dozens of journalists who have been imprisoned since the coup d’état took place on February 1.

Danny Fenster
Danny Fenster

Fenster was detained shortly before boarding a flight to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, but without knowing the reason for his arrest. His family had called for his release on numerous occasions and had asked US President Joe Biden to guarantee his release.

(with EP information)

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Myanmar’s military junta announced new charges against Aung san Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint