Myanmar’s deposed leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other former officials from her government have been hit with fresh corruption charges, according to state-run media. The charges are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was overthrown by the army on 1 February in a coup that has plunged the south-east Asian country into chaos.
Dozens of Myanmar security force members have been killed in fighting, rebel fighters have claimed, as Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in person at a court hearing for the first time since her government was overthrown by the military in February’s coup. In one battle on Sunday, the People’s Defence Force (PDF) – a civilian anti-junta movement – said at least 20 police had died and a police station had been seized.
Opponents of military rule in Myanmar marched and laid bouquets of flowers on Friday while trying to find alternative ways to organize their campaign of dissent after the authorities cut off most users from the internet. On Friday, security forces opened fire at a rally near Myanmar’s second city Mandalay, wounding four people, two critically, according to three domestic media organizations.
Children were among those killed and injured in airstrikes by Myanmar’s military on an ethnic rebel-controlled area in the country’s southeast, a humanitarian aid group said Tuesday, as junta forces stepped up their offensive in the region. Myanmar’s military, which seized power in a February 1 coup, has been conducting airstrikes in southeastern Karen state since Saturday night, forcing thousands of residents to flee into the jungles.
Trash piled up on the streets of Myanmar’s main city on Tuesday after activists launched a “garbage strike” to oppose military rule as the toll of pro-democracy protesters killed by the security forces since a Feb. 1 coup rose to more than 500. At least 512 civilians had been killed in nearly two months of protests against the coup, 141 of them on Saturday.
Joe Biden has led global condemnation of an “absolutely outrageous” crackdown by Myanmar’s junta that left more than 100 people – including several children – dead in the bloodiest day since the coup two months ago. At least 107 more people were killed on Saturday, the United Nations said, as the regime staged a major show of might for Armed Forces Day – an annual parade showcasing Myanmar’s military prowess.
Security forces killed at least 22 anti-coup protesters in the poor, industrial Hlaingthaya suburb of Myanmar’s main city on Sunday after Chinese-financed factories were set ablaze there, an advocacy group said. A further 16 protesters were killed in other places, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said, as well as one policeman, making it the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 coup against elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar’s military government has accused deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi of accepting illegal payments. The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemned violence against protesters and urged the army to show restraint. But language that would have denounced the military takeover as a coup or threatened possible further action was removed from the British-drafted text, due to opposition by China, India, Russia and Vietnam.
An official from deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) died in custody after he was arrested early on Tuesday. Overnight, police arrested about 50 people who had been cornered by security forces in a district of Myanmar’s main city Yangon, a rights group said. But hundreds managed to escape the encirclement after crowds of demonstrators rallied in their support in defiance of a night-time curfew.
Accused of crimes against humanity, an illegal government takeover and gunning down protesters, Myanmar’s military is seeking to rebrand itself in foreign capitals, recruiting a former Israeli military intelligence official turned lobbyist with a record defending controversial clients. Ari Ben-Menashe, a Tehran-born, Israeli-Canadian lobbyist, was hired by the Tatmadaw this week to “assist in explaining the real situation in the country”.