Myanmar's Suu Kyi Marks Third Month Under House Arrest

Myanmar's Suu Kyi Marks Third Month Under House Arrest
Myanmar's Suu Kyi Marks Third Month Under House Arrest

Myanmar's deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi completed a third month under military-ordered house arrest on Saturday – a period marked by scatter-gun criminal charges and apparent isolation from the chaos engulfing the country.
The nation has been plunged into violence since the military deposed the Nobel laureate in a Feb. 1 coup, ending Myanmar's brief tryst with democracy, AFP reported.
The resumption of junta rule sparked a wave of protests and a brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, in which security forces have killed more than 750 people, according to a local monitoring group.
Charged on six counts, including sedition and under Myanmar's official secrets law, Suu Kyi has been denied private meetings with her lawyers.
Instead, she has had only a couple of video meetings that were physically monitored by security officials at both ends, her defense team told AFP.
"We haven't had the chance up to now to meet to get instruction from our client. Without getting instructions from the accused, how can we defend her?" lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told AFP. "We are very concerned for the defendant's right to justice."
Min Min Soe, another member of the defense team, said on Monday that Suu Kyi is cut off from information about the ongoing unrest at the house where she is being detained in the capital Naypyidaw.
"I think she is not getting access to watch news and TV. I do not think she knows the current situation," Min Min Soe said.
Suu Kyi spent more than 15 years under house arrest during the previous military rule before her 2010 release and rise to power in elections held five years later.
Her international stature diminished following a wave of military violence targeting Buddhist-majority Myanmar's marginalized Muslim Rohingya community that displaced more than a million people, but the coup has returned Suu Kyi to the role of cloistered democracy icon.
"As somebody who has had an impact on the democracy movement in Myanmar all these years, in that sense, she is irreplaceable," said Moe Thuzar from the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a politics and security research center.
"Even if people did not agree with the politics of the National League for Democracy, the way they viewed Aung San Suu Kyi as someone who has led the opposition, someone who has spoken up for democracy in the past, and also, as the child of the country's independence hero, I think those things count for something."

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