Magway region chief minister charged with incitement

A court hearing for Magway region chief minister Dr Aung Moe Nyo, who has been charged with incitement under section 505b of the Penal Code, was held via video conference at the Magway township court on Tuesday.

Myint Aung, his lawyer, said he was made to wait at the court from 10:30am until 3pm to submit a letter granting him power of attorney. He added that court officials did not provide any details on how his client’s case would be heard.

Dr Aung Moe Nyo, who is a member of the central executive committee of the National League for Democracy (NLD), is accused of “publishing statements that said the State Administrative Council formed by the junta is unofficial,” his lawyer said.

“He is in good health. He wanted me to tell his family this. He says he doesn’t even know what charge he’s facing. We had to explain that he is being charged under 505b,” the lawyer added.

The next hearing in the case is expected to be held on March 9.

Dozens of chief ministers and other political leaders have been detained since the military seized power from the civilian government on February 1, citing alleged electoral fraud in the 2020 election.

At least two other NLD central executive committee members—Rakhine state chief minister Nyi Pu and Mandalay region chief minister Dr Zaw Myint Maung—have also been charged under section 505b, which carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison.

The new regime has announced several amendments to the Penal Code aimed at stifling resistance to its rule.

It is still unclear how the changes will affect cases currently being tried, but section 505b previously outlawed “any statement, rumour or report” likely to induce people to “commit an offence against the state.” The charge is non-bailable

Where Dr Aung Moe Nyo is being detained remains unknown.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, nearly 700 people have been arrested or detained by the military council as of February 23.

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