(CNN)Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with violating the official secrets act, her lawyer said Thursday, as the ruling military junta cut all wireless internet services in the Southeast Asian country until further notice.
Suu Kyi’s charge of breaking the British colonial-era law is the fifth and most serious charge leveled against her since the military seized power in a coup on February 1. A conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years, according to Reuters. Pro-democracy demonstrators have repeatedly filled streets across the country for nearly two months in protest over the military’s bloody takeover, which overthrew Suu Kyi’s elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government over claims of election fraud, and installed a ruling military junta. Suu Kyi and other government officials have been detained since the coup. She faces four other charges, including violating the import-export law and prohibiting publishing information that may “cause fear or alarm.” Her lawyer, Khin Maung Zaw, told CNN Suu Kyi was charged on March 25 alongside detained Australian economic adviser Sean Turnell and several other advisers. He said he was only informed of the new charge on March 30.State Department orders non-emergency personnel out of Myanmar Read MoreThe ousted civilian leader, whose party won a landslide in the November 2020 elections, has not been seen in public since her detention. Appearing in court via a video link on Thursday, Khin Maung Zaw said she seemed to be in “good physical condition,” according to a junior lawyer who was present at the hearing. “She demanded to arrange a meeting between her and the lawyers — the defense lawyers — a private meeting to give instructions to her lawyers to discuss about the case without any outside interferences like the police or other force,” Khin Maung Zaw said.On Friday, Myanmar citizens were expecting to wake up to no wireless broadband internet services after telecoms companies received instructions from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to stop the service.Customers of telecoms company Ooredoo received text messages the night before saying wireless services will be stopped until further notice. The directive was dated from April 1.Anti-coup demonstrators raise the three finger of resistance and a portrait of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi as prepare to confront police during a protest in Tarmwe township, Yangon on April 1.A majority of customers in Myanmar connect to the internet through wireless data services and the move will leave only those with physical connections to access the web. In an effort to stifle communication and the flow of information, the junta has imposed nightly internet shutdowns. Internet monitor Netblocks confirmed the internet was cut from 1 a.m. Friday morning — the 47th consecutive night of military-imposed shutdowns. Mobile data has also been disabled for the 19th day, the company said. CNN has reached out to Myanmar’s military for comment.UN condemns ‘use of violence’Late Thursday, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement to the press condemning the “use of violence” against protestors in the streets of Myanmar. The response to ongoing protests by security forces has seen unarmed civilians shot in the street, and beatings, arbitrary detentions and nighttime raids on the homes of suspected opposition members. At least 543 people have been killed by junta forces, according to advocacy group the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. “Members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation and strongly condemned the use of violence against peaceful protestors and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children,” the UN Security Council statement said. In order to get the support of China and Russia, Western countries were forced to modify the language used in the statement. The final UNSC statement, the third issued by the Council since the coup, did not threaten Myanmar military rulers with sanctions or an arms embargo. Demonstrators burn a copy of Myanmar’s constitution during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, on April 1. A UN diplomat told CNN that countries wanted to include the phrase “a readiness to consider further steps” — a reference to the possibility of sanctions — but China, Myanmar’s strongest defender in the 15-nation council, blocked the language, said the diplomat. Attempts to refer to the hundreds of civilian deaths as “‘killing,” became simply “civilian deaths,” the diplomat added. Russia wanted to include language condemning the death of Myanmar security officials, which stopped approval of the final text several times, according to the diplomat. It comes after the Security Council concluded its meeting Wednesday with no immediate sign of any agreement on more aggressive actions on Myanmar.Diplomats at the UN still insist it is important for the Council to speak with one voice. Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador told reporters Wednesday that sanctions would represent intrusion into the internal affairs of a member country of the UN. Airstrikes continueRelief group Free Burma Rangers said air strikes continued early Thursday morning in Myanmar’s southeastern Karen state, the same day the military said it would begin a unilateral ceasefire.Since Saturday, the military has been conducting airstrikes in Karen state, as tensions increase between armed ethnic groups in the country and the military. Thousands of residents have been forced to flee into the jungle and into neighboring Thailand. Many of the villages targeted are controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), an ethnic armed group that holds large swathes of territory in the borderlands. The KNU is one of many ethnic armed groups to have come out in support of the protests and to condemn the military takeover. Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters wearing face paint stand near a burning barricade during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday, March 30.Hide Caption 1 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSoldiers walk toward anti-coup protesters during a demonstration in Yangon on March 30.Hide Caption 2 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters run to avoid the military in Yangon on March 30.Hide Caption 3 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA man rides his bike as smoke billows from burning barricades in Yangon on March 30.Hide Caption 4 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters throw stones and use slingshots as security forces approached in Yangon on Sunday, March 28.Hide Caption 5 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSmoke rises after anti-coup protesters burned tires in Yangon on Saturday, March 27.Hide Caption 6 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters make incendiary devices during an anti-coup rally in Yangon.Hide Caption 7 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSmoke rises over Yangon’s Thaketa Township on March 27.Hide Caption 8 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMourners attend the funeral of Tin Hla, a 43-year-old who was reportedly shot dead by security forces during a protest.Hide Caption 9 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople cry in Yangon after a relative was shot during a crackdown on anti-coup protesters.Hide Caption 10 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters occupy a street during a rally in Yangon on March 27.Hide Caption 11 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters gesture during a march in Yangon on Friday, March 26.Hide Caption 12 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarThein Zaw, a journalist with the Associated Press, waves after being released from a prison in Yangon on March 24. He had been detained while covering an anti-coup protest in February.Hide Caption 13 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMen pray during the funeral of Khin Myo Chit, a 7-year-old girl who was shot in her home by Myanmar’s security forces on March 23. The girl was killed during a military raid, according to the Reuters news agency and the advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.Hide Caption 14 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA Buddhist monk uses binoculars as he squats behind a road barricade with others in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 22.Hide Caption 15 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarThe mother of Aung Kaung Htet wails during the teenage boy’s funeral on March 21. Aung, 15, was killed when military junta forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters in Yangon.Hide Caption 16 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarUnidentified people cross the Tiau River at the India-Myanmar border on March 20. Some people from Myanmar have sought refuge in India since the protests began.Hide Caption 17 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAn anti-coup protester jumps over a makeshift barricade in Yangon on March 19.Hide Caption 18 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters take positions on Yangon’s Bayint Naung Bridge on March 17. The bridge was blocked with an improvised barricade to prevent security forces from crossing.Hide Caption 19 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMedical students hold up the three-finger salute at the Yangon funeral of Khant Nyar Hein on March 16. The first-year medical student was fatally shot during the crackdown.Hide Caption 20 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters test Molotov cocktails in Yangon on March 16.Hide Caption 21 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters stand near burning tires in Yangon on March 16.Hide Caption 22 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAnti-coup protesters pray in Yangon on March 14.Hide Caption 23 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarEmergency workers transport the body of Shel Ye Win, who was shot by security forces in Mandalay.Hide Caption 24 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSmoke billows from the industrial zone of the Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon on March 14. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar said several Chinese-funded factories were set ablaze during protests. Demonstrators have accused Beijing of supporting the coup and junta.Hide Caption 25 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA member of Myanmar’s police is seen firing a weapon toward protesters in Yangon on March 13.Hide Caption 26 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople lay flowers and light candles beside bloodied pavement where protester Chit Min Thu was killed in Yangon.Hide Caption 27 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMilitary trucks are seen near a burning barricade in Yangon that was erected by protesters and then set on fire by soldiers on March 10.Hide Caption 28 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester holds a homemade shield during an anti-coup demonstration in Yangon on March 9.Hide Caption 29 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas that was fired by police in Yangon on March 8.Hide Caption 30 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters string up longyi, traditional clothing worn in Myanmar, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 7.Hide Caption 31 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarThe wife of Phoe Chit, a protester who died during a demonstration, cries over her husband’s coffin during his funeral in Yangon on March 5.Hide Caption 32 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters step on portraits of Myanmar’s armed forces chief, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, during a demonstration in Yangon on March 5.Hide Caption 33 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople cry in Yangon on March 4, near a spot where a family member was killed while protesting.Hide Caption 34 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters lie on the ground after police opened fire to disperse an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.Hide Caption 35 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSchoolteachers wear traditional hats while participating in an anti-coup demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.Hide Caption 36 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA soldier stands next to a detained man during a demonstration in Mandalay on March 3.Hide Caption 37 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAnti-coup protesters run in Yangon on March 3. One of them discharged a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by police.Hide Caption 38 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAn anti-coup protester writes vital emergency information of another protester on his arm in Yangon.Hide Caption 39 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPolice run toward protesters to disperse a demonstration in Yangon on March 3.Hide Caption 40 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA citizen of Myanmar living in India burns a poster of Myanmar’s military chief during a protest in New Delhi on March 3.Hide Caption 41 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMedics help supply oxygen to a protester who was exposed to tear gas in Yangon on March 3.Hide Caption 42 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters flee after tear gas was fired during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.Hide Caption 43 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters smoke behind shields during a demonstration in Yangon on March 1.Hide Caption 44 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters in Yangon run away from tear gas on March 1.Hide Caption 45 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople in Yangon take part in a ceremony on February 28 to remember those who have been killed during demonstrations.Hide Caption 46 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSoldiers patrol during a protest in Yangon on February 28.Hide Caption 47 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters take cover as they clash with police in Yangon on February 28.Hide Caption 48 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters erect barricades during a demonstration in Yangon on February 28.Hide Caption 49 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPolice charge at anti-coup protesters in Yangon on February 27.Hide Caption 50 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAn injured protester receives medical attention in Mandalay after police and military forces cracked down on protests on February 26.Hide Caption 51 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarFactory workers hold placards and shout slogans as they hold an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 25.Hide Caption 52 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarAnti-coup protesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 25.Hide Caption 53 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA police officer films protesters near the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon on February 24.Hide Caption 54 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarThida Hnin cries during the funeral of her husband, Thet Naing Win, in Mandalay on February 23. He and another protester were fatally shot by security forces during an anti-coup protest.Hide Caption 55 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPolice stand guard near the US Embassy in Yangon as protesters take part in an anti-coup demonstration on February 22.Hide Caption 56 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters hold signs featuring civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon on February 22. Hide Caption 57 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters gather for a demonstration on February 22.Hide Caption 58 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA man is carried after police dispersed protesters in Mandalay on February 20. Hide Caption 59 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA police truck uses a water cannon to disperse protesters in Mandalay on February 20.Hide Caption 60 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA police officer aims a gun toward protesters during a demonstration in Mandalay on February 20.Hide Caption 61 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester holds a Suu Kyi poster as he sits in front of police in Yangon on February 19.Hide Caption 62 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters flash the three-fingered salute during a rally in downtown Yangon on February 19.Hide Caption 63 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarFlower tributes and sympathy messages are left in Yangon for Mya Thweh Thweh Khine. The 20-year-old was shot in the head at a protest in Naypyidaw, and she died on February 19.Hide Caption 64 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters block a major road during a demonstration in Yangon on February 17.Hide Caption 65 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarDemonstrators block a Yangon bridge with their cars on February 17.Hide Caption 66 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarBuddhist monks march during an anti-coup protest in Yangon on February 16.Hide Caption 67 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA Suu Kyi banner is displayed during demonstrations in Yangon on February 15.Hide Caption 68 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSoldiers carry barricades in Yangon on February 15.Hide Caption 69 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarElected members of Parliament wave to protesters in Yangon as police surround the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, on February 15.Hide Caption 70 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMedics clear the way as an injured protester is carried away for treatment in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 15.Hide Caption 71 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople gather around an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.Hide Caption 72 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarYoung people in Yangon take part in an anti-coup hip-hop performance on February 14.Hide Caption 73 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters demonstrate in Yangon on February 14.Hide Caption 74 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA child runs alongside an armored vehicle in Yangon on February 14.Hide Caption 75 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters march through the city of Shwebo on February 13.Hide Caption 76 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarMembers of the Myanmar Photographers Association hold up their cameras as they call for Suu Kyi’s release on February 13.Hide Caption 77 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPolice detain a protester during a demonstration in Mawlamyine on February 12.Hide Caption 78 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarFarmers ride a tractor with a Suu Kyi poster during a demonstration in Thongwa on February 12.Hide Caption 79 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester dressed as Lady Justice makes a three-finger salute as she takes part in a demonstration in Yangon on February 11.Hide Caption 80 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters demonstrate in Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on February 11.Hide Caption 81 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarGen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country’s military leader, makes a televised statement on February 11. He announced that more than 23,000 prisoners were set to be granted amnesty and released that day. It was unclear what offenses the prisoners were convicted of.Hide Caption 82 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarBodybuilders take part in a protest in Yangon on February 11.Hide Caption 83 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPeople hold up letters that spell “get out dictators” during a demonstration at Inle Lake on February 11.Hide Caption 84 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester carries a child during a march in Yangon on February 10.Hide Caption 85 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarWomen in wedding gowns holds up anti-coup placards in Yangon on February 10.Hide Caption 86 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA police officer aims a gun during clashes with protesters in the capital of Naypyidaw on February 9.Hide Caption 87 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA protester pleads for police to refrain from using tear gas against demonstrators in Yangon on February 9.Hide Caption 88 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarPolice fire water cannons at protesters in Naypyidaw on February 9.Hide Caption 89 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters gather in Yangon on February 8.Hide Caption 90 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters flash three-fingered salutes as they face rows of riot police in Naypyidaw on February 8.Hide Caption 91 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarHospital workers show three-finger salutes during a demonstration in Yangon on February 7.Hide Caption 92 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarA rally takes place in Yangon on February 7.Hide Caption 93 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters shout slogans in Yangon on February 7.Hide Caption 94 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarProtesters give roses to riot police in Yangon on February 6.Hide Caption 95 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarYangon residents bang objects to show support for Suu Kyi and her party on February 5. Hide Caption 96 of 97 Photos: Unrest in MyanmarSoldiers block a road near Myanmar’s Parliament on February 2, a day after the coup.Hide Caption 97 of 97Free Burma Rangers said strikes occurred in areas that were previously targeted and that there were no casualties as residents were in hiding. Burma Campaign UK also reported two more airstrikes in the state early Thursday, in statement on Twitter.Members of the KNU shared a video with CNN that purports to show the aftermath of an airstrike at a gold mine in Dwe Lo, township, in Papun district on March 30. Multiple bodies could be seen on the ground and fires burned at what appeared to be a work site.Myanmar’s military declined to comment on Thursday’s strikes.In a statement on state television Wednesday, the military said it would suspend its “operations unilaterally from April 1 to April 30,” but that it would reserve the right to take action against those who “threaten to disrupt the government, security and administration.”
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