The UK has demanded the immediate release of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected officials following the military coup.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke out after police levelled their first formal charge against the deposed leader.
Senior generals announced on Monday that they would take power for a year, accusing Ms Suu Kyi’s administration of not investigating the claims of voter fraud in recent elections, which saw her National League for Democracy sweep the vote at the expense of the military-backed party.
Ms Suu Kyi appears likely to be detained until at least the middle of the month after being charged with possession of illegally imported walkie talkies.
We condemn the detention and charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected officials. They must be released immediately and have charges removed. There must be no backsliding from democracy. The UK is consulting with international partners on next steps
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) February 4, 2021
Mr Raab said: “We condemn the detention and charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected officials.
“They must be released immediately and have charges removed. There must be no backsliding from democracy. The UK is consulting with international partners on next steps.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international leaders to unite in efforts to ensure the coup fails.
He told the Washington Post that although there was no unity in the UN Security Council on the issue “we will do everything we can to mobilise all the key actors of the international community to put enough pressure on Myanmar to make sure that this coup fails”.
He said it was “absolutely unacceptable to reverse the result of the elections and the will of the people”.
Myanmar’s new military rulers have blocked citizens from accessing Facebook, which is especially popular in the country and had been used by the ousted government to make announcements.
Mobile service provider Telenor Myanmar said there had been a directive from the communications ministry to temporarily block the site.