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Myanmar military charges Suu Kyi with breaking official secrets law

Demonstrators hold up placards calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi outside the Central Bank in Yangon, Myanmar, on February 15. The military issued a new charge against Suu Kyi Thursday. Photo by Lynn Bo Bo/EPA-EFE
Demonstrators hold up placards calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi outside the Central Bank in Yangon, Myanmar, on February 15. The military issued a new charge against Suu Kyi Thursday. Photo by Lynn Bo Bo/EPA-EFE

April 1 (UPI) -- The Myanmar military has charged deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a nearly 100-year-old, colonial-era law that comes with a 14-year prison sentence, one of her attorneys said Thursday.

Min Min Soe said the military charged Suu Kyi with violating the Official Secrets Act, which dates back to 1923 and criminalizes the possession, collection, recording, publishing or sharing of state information that is "directly or indirectly useful to an enemy."

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On Feb. 15, the military charged Suu Kyi with violating a disaster management law by interacting with a crowd during the coronavirus pandemic. It goes along with other charges against her the military applied when it first detained her in a coup Feb. 1.

Soe, a member of the National League for Democracy's legal team said she did not have any additional information on the charges after a video hearing with Suu Kyi at the Zabuthiri township court in Naypyitaw.

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Some officials complained that the military was shutting down Internet access across the country as a way to disrupt anti-coup protesters around the country.

"More Internet cut means more human rights violations," the Civil Disobedience Movement said on its Twitter account Thursday. "Since we rely on an Internet connection for many parts of our daily lives, it also means our lives are severely disrupted. In fact, Internet communication is a life-and-death matter for many people."

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Christine Schraner Burgener, the United Nation's Special Envoy of Secretary-General for Myanmar, said Wednesday she called on the Security Council to demand Suu Kyi's release.

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