On 16 March 2021, military-controlled MRTV announced that Dr. Sa Sa had been charged with high treason under Section 122(2) of the Criminal Code for accepting an appointment as Myanmar’s representative to the UN by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH).
The CRPH was formed by elected lawmakers from the National league for Democracy (NLD) who were prevented from taking seats in the Union Parliament by the Feb. 1 coup. The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is Myanmar’s Union Parliament.
The military regime has issued an arrest warrant for the international envoy for Myanmar’s overthrown civilian government, charging him with high treason over what it said were his efforts to topple the coup leaders.
The military accused Dr. Sa Sa of inciting staff at Myanmar embassies abroad to join the civil disobedience movement against the regime, and of calling for international sanctions on coup leaders, according to the Irrawaddy’s report.
More than two dozen diplomats from Myanmar’s foreign missions including those in the US, UK, Norway and Switzerland have announced they would refuse to work for the regime after it launched deadly crackdowns on anti-coup protesters.
The military also cited Dr. Sa Sa’s call for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to adhere to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, as well as his series of discussions with ethnic armed groups asking them to collaborate to bring down the military regime.
The regime claimed his acts caused an escalation of Myanmar’s internal conflicts and sought the overthrow of what it said was the constitutionally governing State Administration Council (SAC), formed by the coup leaders.
In responses to the military regime, Dr. Sa Sa said, “I am proud to have been charged with treason by the military junta—because treason against the junta means that I am standing with the people of Myanmar, giving my life for their freedom, for federal democracy and for justice.”
He said that all his life he had witnessed torture, forced labor, intimidation, rape and killings of Myanmar people by the military generals who now accuse him of high treason.
Dr. Sa Sa said the charge of high treason against him was tantamount to a declaration of war on federal democracy, freedom and justice.
“We will not rest until we have brought these criminals to justice,” he added.