Suu Kyi remains in remand; troops fire at protesters

Myanmar protest

The UN's top rights body has called on Myanmar's military to restore civilian rule and immediately release civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Her detention was due to expire yesterday but her lawyer, Mr Khin Maung Zaw, told the media that a judge at a court in the capital, Naypyitaw, had said she was remanded until tomorrow.

Small crowds gathered in two places in the main city of Yangon on Tuesday - at a traditional protest site near the main university campus and at the central bank, where protesters hoped to press staff to join a civil disobedience movement.

CDM refers to the civil disobedience movement under which doctors, engineers and others in Myanmar strike to push the military to release elected leaders and return the country to civilian rule.

An armoured vehicle rides on a street during a protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar, February 14, 2021.

In the confrontation, broadcast live on Facebook, soldiers and police in the state capital Myitkyina fired shots to disperse protesters, though it is unclear whether rubber bullets or live rounds were used.

The generals imposed an hours-long internet shutdown on Monday morning and ratcheted up the military's presence across the country overnight, sending armoured vehicles onto the streets of Yangon, the nation's commercial hub and biggest city.

The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to nearly half a century of direct army rule, which ended when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics in 2011.

Nuns from various congregations have shown solidarity with the people of Myanmar by marching on the streets, saying prayers at convents and offering snacks to protesters in Yangon and elsewhere. An armoured vehicle and about six trucks carrying soldiers were parked nearby.

The police arrested an estimated 20 to 40 students, who are believed to be aged 13 to 16. Also, a video posted on social media showed citizens fleeing following sounds of gunfire.

The Nobel laureate, who spent years under house arrest for opposing an earlier dictatorship, has been charged under an obscure import law for possessing unregistered walkie-talkies at her home. The U.N., U.S. and other governments have urged it to return power to the elected government and release Suu Kyi and other detainees. A member of the lawyer's team said the judge had spoken with Suu Kyi via video chat, and she had asked if she could hire a lawyer.

The government and army could not be reached for comment.

The newspaper also said the council members discussed acting against a "parallel government" established by some elected lawmakers of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, who were prevented from taking their seats when the military stopped Parliament from opening its session February 1.

The army has been carrying out nightly arrests and has given itself sweeping powers to detain people and search private property.

United Nations special rapporteur Tom Andrews told AFP Monday that he does expect Suu Kyi's court hearing to be fair. At least 400 people have been held, the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'A few minutes ago the Tatmadaw reinforced with military tanks and now they started shooting'. The state election commission found no evidence to support the claims of fraud.

On Sunday, it published penal code amendments aimed at stifling dissent, reported Reuters.

The coup has been internationally condemned with a joint statement from the US, British and European Union ambassadors urging Myanmar security forces not to harm civilians.



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