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Illegal Walkie-Talkies Behind Aung San Suu Kyi's Detention

Deposed leader of Myanmar is being remanded in custody until Feb. 15
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2021 6:11 AM CST

(Newser) – On Monday, Myanmar's de facto civilian leader was arrested after her country's military carried out a coup. Now, her party's spokesperson, Kyi Toe, says on his Facebook page that Aung San Suu Kyi will be kept in custody for two weeks, until Feb. 15, over violating import and export laws, CNN reports. President Win Myint and hundreds of senior lawmakers and officials from the ruling National League for Democracy party have also been detained. The specific charge against Suu Kyi: having walkie-talkies in her home that were illegally brought in from other countries, members of her party tell the AP. Suu Kyi—who's said to be under house arrest at her own home, those party members say—could face up to two years behind bars for the walkie-talkies, which were apparently for use by her bodyguards, according to paperwork listing the charges.

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Win Myint, for his part, is being held on charges of violating natural disaster management law, says Kyi Toe. The AP notes that Suu Kyi is no stranger to house arrest: She was held that way for years as she fought for democracy in Myanmar, finally becoming the nation's de facto leader after the NLD party won 2015 elections. Protests against the coup have been taking place in the capital of Yangon, as well as counterprotests by those who support the military, known as the Tatmadaw. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country's new military leader, says investigations are being carried out on alleged fraud in last year's elections, although the nation's elections agency has said there's no widespread proof of that. (More on how the people of Myanmar are making their displeasure on the coup known through the literal noise they're making.)

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