(Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta added new bribery allegations to its charges against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday, while an advocacy group said security forces killed 12 protesters in one of the deadliest days since the military took power.
The bloodshed came hours after the U.N. Security Council had called for restraint from the army, which has been trying to put down daily anti-coup protests and paralysing strikes since it took power on Feb. 1.
Among the dead were eight people killed in the central town of Myaing when security forces fired on a protest, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said.
In Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, protester Chit Min Thu was killed in the North Dagon district. His wife, Aye Myat Thu, told Reuters he had insisted on joining the protests despite her appeals for him to stay home for the sake of their son.
“He said it’s worth dying for,” she said through her tears. “He is worried about people not joining the protest. If so, democracy will not return to the country.”
Adding corruption charges to the accusations against Suu Kyi could mean she faces a harsher penalty. She currently faces four comparatively minor charges – including illegally importing six walkie talkie radios and flouting coronavirus restrictions.
The junta spokesman, Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, said Suu Kyi had accepted illegal payments worth $600,000, as well as gold, while in government, according to a complaint by Phyo Mien Thein, a former chief minister of Yangon.
“He strongly said that,” the spokesman told a news conference. “We have verified those facts several times. Now the anti-corruption committee is continuing the investigation.”
Aye Ma Ma Myo, a member of the dissolved parliament belonging to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, rejected the claim.“It is no longer uncommon to see slander against politicians and efforts to crush the party while innocent young people are killed in public,” she told Reuters in a message.