Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged under the country’s natural disaster management law, according to her lawyer.
Myanmar’s military regime has hit deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a second charge, this time under the country’s natural disaster management law.
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with an extra [violation] … under the Natural Disaster Management law,” lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said on Tuesday.
Since being overthrown from power earlier this month, Aung San Suu Kyi has already been charged under the country’s import and export law for having walkie-talkies in her home.
Myanmar’s military, meanwhile, guaranteed on Tuesday it would hold an election and hand over power. It denied that its removal of an elected government was a coup, or that its leaders had been detained, and accused protesters of violence and intimidation.
The military’s justification of its February 1 seizure of power and arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and others came as protesters again took to the streets and after a UN envoy warned the army of “severe consequences” for any harsh response to the demonstrations.
“Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party,” Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the ruling council, told the first news conference held by the military since the coup.
The military has not given a date for a new election but it has imposed a state of emergency for one year. Zaw Min Tun said the military would not hold power for long.
“We guarantee … that the election will be held,” he told the nearly two-hour news conference, which the military broadcast from the capital, Naypyidaw, live over Facebook – a platform it has banned.
Asked about the detention of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and the president, Zaw Min Tun dismissed the suggestion they were in detention, saying they were in their homes for their security while the law took its course.
He also said Myanmar’s foreign policy would not change, that it remained open for business and deals would be upheld.
The military will be hoping its reassurances will dampen the campaign of daily opposition to its rule and to the removal of Aung San Suu Kyi and her government.
As well as the demonstrations in towns and cities across the ethnically diverse country, a civil disobedience movement has brought strikes that are crippling many functions of government.
The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to almost half a century of direct army rule that ended in 2011 when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics.
But violence has been limited this time, although police have opened fire several times, mostly with rubber bullets, to disperse protesters.
The military launched its coup after what it claimed was widespread fraud in a November election, won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in a landslide. The electoral commission had rejected those claims.
Some 400 people have been arrested since the coup, according to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which keeps track of the mostly nightly arrests. Of those, 375 people remain in detention, it said.
An emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council on Friday called for the new military government to release all “arbitrarily detained” people and for the military to hand power back to Aung San Suu Kyi’s administration.
Traditional allies of the country’s armed forces, including Russia and China, have distanced themselves from what they have described as interference in Myanmar’s “internal affairs”.