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Aung San Suu Kyi Makes First Court Appearance Since Coup

Over the weekend in the country’s borderlands, ethnic armed groups claimed that they had killed dozens of Tatmadaw soldiers in offensives, even as the army’s shelling claimed lives of civilians sheltering in a church in eastern Myanmar. In the big cities, including Yangon and Mandalay, protesters organized flash mobs of dissent, scattering quickly as security forces drew near.

“We still have a situation which is very bad on the ground,” Christine Schraner Burgener, a Swiss diplomat who is the United Nations special envoy for Myanmar, told journalists Monday via video link from Bangkok, where she has been trying for nearly two months to secure Tatmadaw permission to visit the country. She acknowledged the risk that Myanmar might descend into civil war.

Ms. Schraner Burgener also said she still held out hope that the Tatmadaw’s top commander, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, would allow her to visit but that his message for now was that it is “still not the right time — not a yes, not a no.”

More than 800 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to a monitoring group, many shot in the head while peacefully protesting. More than 4,200 have been detained.

Among them is U Thein Hlaing Tun, a lawyer representing another of Myanmar’s jailed elected leaders. He was arrested on Monday as he tried to meet with his client at the same special court in Naypyidaw where Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi appeared.

Mr. Thein Hlaing Tun was charged with violating a section of the penal code criminalizing perceived slights against the Tatmadaw.

“That’s all we know about his arrest,” Ms. Min Min Soe said.

In a further sign of the Tatmadaw’s intolerance for dissent or critical press scrutiny, an American who is the managing editor of Frontier Myanmar, a twice-monthly magazine about developments in the country, was reported to have been arrested at Yangon International Airport on Monday as he was about to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur. The magazine said in a statement posted on its Twitter account that the managing editor, Danny Fenster, was believed to have been transferred to Insein Prison in Yangon.


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