© Reuters. File photo: Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar participated in the Japan-Mekong Summit Joint Press Conference held at the State Guest House Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan on October 9, 2018. Franck Robichon/Pool via Reuters
(Reuters)-On Monday, a military-ruled Myanmar court sentenced the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison on charges of inciting and violating coronavirus restrictions. A source said and a critic called him. As “farce”.
According to an anonymous source, President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years in prison because the court handed down its first verdict in numerous cases against Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders detained by the military in the February coup. . . 1.
Since the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government sparked widespread protests and sparked international concerns about the end of tentative political reforms after decades of military rule, Myanmar has been in turmoil.
The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained with most senior leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party since the coup. Others were abroad or in hiding, and no party spokesperson commented.
Richard Hoshi, a Myanmar expert at the International Crisis Organization think tank, said: “These allegations are absurd and are aimed at revenge on popular leaders. Therefore, the guilty verdict and imprisonment are not surprising.”
A military spokesperson did not respond to Reuters’ attempts to contact him for comment on the verdict, which was widely reported in the domestic media.
The military did not provide details of where Aung San Suu Kyi was detained, and it is unclear whether the verdict means that her situation will change immediately.
The trial in the capital Naypyidaw is no longer open to the media, and the military government’s public information media did not mention the proceedings. Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers are prohibited from communicating with the media and the public.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces more than a dozen cases, including multiple allegations of corruption and violations of the State Secrets Act, Telecommunications Act, and COVID-19 regulations. The maximum penalties for these cases add up to more than a century.
Aung San Suu Kyi and co-defendant Win Min were sentenced to two years in prison for incitement and two years in prison for violating the coronavirus agreement. They denied these allegations.
According to human rights organizations, Western countries demanded the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and condemned the violence since the coup d’etat, in which about 1,300 people were killed.
Liz Truss, the foreign secretary of the former colonial power, condemned Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision as “another appalling attempt by the Burmese military government to stifle the opposition and suppress freedom and democracy.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China, which has long had good relations with the military and Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, urges all parties to “bridging differences under the constitution and legal framework and continue to advance the hard-won democratic transformation.” .
Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN human rights affairs, condemned her so-called “false” politically motivated trial, which “will only deepen the rejection of the coup.”
Bachelet said in a statement issued by the Geneva office: “The military is trying to use the courts to eliminate all political opposition.”
Supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi said the accusations against her were baseless and aimed to end her political career and involve her in legal proceedings while the military consolidates power.
It is widely expected that she will be sentenced to prison.
“I don’t want any results from this broken judicial system,” Maw Htun Aung, deputy minister of the opposition parallel government, told Reuters after the sentence was pronounced.
The military government stated that Aung San Suu Kyi is undergoing due process in an independent court led by judges appointed by her own government.
The daughter of Myanmar independence hero Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for many years for opposing military rule, but was released in 2010 and led her National League for Democracy to an overwhelming victory in the 2015 general election.
Her party won again in November last year, but the military said the vote was rigged and seized power a few weeks later. The election commission rejected the military’s complaint.
The human rights organization Amnesty International stated that the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi were absurd and that her imprisonment showed the military’s determination to eliminate the opposition and stifle freedom.
Historian and author Dan Min U said that military leaders believed that their predecessor, who initiated reforms more than a decade ago, had done too much to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to return to politics. The whole reason for the coup was to exclude her.
“She is still the most popular (person) in Myanmar politics and may still be a powerful force in the future,” he told Reuters.
But Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia, said that the tougher criminal charges that Aung San Suu Kyi has yet to face are likely to ensure that she “will never be allowed to be a free woman again.”