Myanmar's Suu Kyi defiant in first comments since coup

·1-min read
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained since February 1 and faces a string of criminal charges

Detained Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her ousted party would "exist as long as the people exist" during her first in-person court appearance since a February coup, her lawyer told AFP Monday.

Since the February 1 putsch, Myanmar has been in uproar with near-daily protests and a nationwide civil disobedience movement, with more than 800 killed by the military, according to a local monitoring group.

"We met with Amay Suu for 30 minutes," lawyer Min Min Soe told AFP.

"There wasn't much time to talk within 30 minutes, but she sounded healthy and fully confident."

"She wishes her people to stay healthy and affirmed the NLD (National League for Democracy) will exist as long as people exist, because it was founded for the people," Min Min Soe added.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has been hit with a string of criminal charges including flouting coronavirus restrictions during last year's election campaign and possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies.

Myanmar's junta has also threatened to dissolve her National League for Democracy political party, which swept elections in 2020, over alleged voter fraud.

She had not been seen in public since she was placed under house arrest by the junta, with weeks of delays to her legal case and her lawyers struggling to gain access to their client.

There was a heavy security presence in the capital Naypyidaw, an AFP correspondent said, with the road to the specially-constructed courthouse blocked off by trucks of police.

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