Suu Kyi detention was prolonged as protests continued in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s military leaders have extended their detention of the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose custody was due to expire on Monday and whose freedom is a major demand from the crowd that continues to protest against this month’s military coup.

According to Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer who has been asked to represent her by Suu Kyi’s party, Suu Kyi is now on remand until February 17, when she is likely to appear in court via videoconference. The Nobel Prize winner remains under house arrest on charges of unregistered imported walkie-talkies.

Suu Kyi’s prolonged detention is likely to ease tension between the military, who seized power in a February 1 coup, and protesters who have taken to the streets of cities across Southeast Asia to seek the return of those they elect Reach government, reignite.

Protesters continued to gather in Myanmar on Monday after a night in which authorities cut the country’s internet access and increased security presence in major cities to curb demonstrations.

Thousands of engineers marched on the streets of Mandalay, the second largest city in the country, chanting and holding signs that read, “Free our leader,” “Who stands with justice?” And “Stop arresting people illegally at midnight. “

In Yangon, the country’s most populous city, protesters rallied less on Monday because the internet was lost and military vehicles were reported on the streets. Even so, more than 1,000 anti-coup protesters were found in front of the Myanmar Central Bank building, which was also home to military trucks full of soldiers, riot police, water cannons and armored personnel carriers.

The protesters carried placards that read “#SupportCDM #SaveMyanmar”. CDM refers to the civil disobedience movement in which doctors, engineers and others in Myanmar refused to work until the military released elected political leaders and brought the country back under civil rule.

Some protesters posed for photos in front of military vehicles while holding red signs saying “Join CDM”.

When the military took power, Suu Kyi and members of her government held it and prevented recently elected lawmakers from opening a new session of parliament. The junta, led by Maj. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said it stepped in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year’s elections that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party won in a landslide. The state election commission rejected this claim, saying there was no evidence to back it up.

The military justified its move with a clause in the 2008 Constitution, implemented during military rule, that states that in national emergencies, the executive, legislative and judicial powers of the government can be transferred to the commander-in-chief of the military.

It is just one of many parts of the charter that ensured that the military could retain final control of the country it ruled for 50 years after a 1962 coup. The military is allowed to appoint its members to 25% of the seats in parliament and controls several important ministries dealing with security and defense.

An order from the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Sunday asked mobile operators to shut down the Internet connection from 1 to 9 a.m. on Monday. It got widespread on social media, as did a notice from service provider Oredoo Myanmar that gave the same details.

On Sunday, ambassadors from the US, Canada and twelve European nations called on Myanmar’s security forces not to use violence against those who “protest against the overthrow of their legitimate government”.

They condemned the arrests of political leaders and activists and the military interference in communications.

“We support the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity,” they said in a joint statement released late Sunday evening. “The world is watching.”

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