Friday, June 9

Aung San Suu Kyi: toppled leader ‘sentenced to four more years in prison’ in Myanmar

A court in Myanmar sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison on Monday after finding her guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions, a legal official said.

Suu Kyi was convicted last month on two other charges and received a four-year prison sentence, which was later cut in half by the army-installed head of government.

The cases are among a dozen cases brought against the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner since the army took power last February, overthrowing her elected government and arresting top members of her National League party for democracy.

If found guilty on all charges, she could face up to 100 years in prison.

Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts say the charges against her are designed to legitimize the military’s takeover of power and prevent her from returning to politics.

Monday’s verdict in court in the capital Naypyitaw was relayed by a legal official who insisted on anonymity for fear of punishment by the authorities, who have restricted the release of information about Suu Kyi’s trials.

She said she was sentenced to two years in prison under the Export-Import Law for importing the walkie-talkies and one year under the Telecommunications Law for owning them. The sentences must be served at the same time. He also received a two-year sentence under the Natural Disaster Management Act for allegedly violating coronavirus rules while campaigning.

Suu Kyi was convicted last month on two other charges, incitement and violation of COVID-19 restrictions, and sentenced to four years in prison. Hours after that sentence was passed, the head of the army-installed government, Major General Min Aung Hlaing, cut it in half.

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Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory in the 2020 general election, but the military claimed there was widespread electoral fraud, a claim that independent election observers doubt.

Since her first guilty verdict, Suu Kyi has been attending court hearings dressed in prison clothing: a white blouse and a brown longyi skirt provided by the authorities. The army is holding her at an unknown location, where state television reported last month that she would be serving her sentence.

Hearings are closed to the media and viewers and prosecutors do not comment. His lawyers, who had been a source of information about the process, received gag orders in October.

The army-installed government has not allowed any outside party to meet with Suu Kyi since she took power, despite international pressure for talks, including her, that could ease the country’s violent political crisis.

The military’s seizure of power was quickly met with nonviolent demonstrations across the country, which security forces put down with lethal force, killing more than 1,400 civilians, according to a detailed list compiled by the Prisoner Assistance Association. Politicians.

Peaceful protests have continued, but amid the severe crackdown, armed resistance has also grown, to the point where UN experts have warned that the country could be sliding into civil war.

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