Four more years in prison against Aung San Suu Kyi

The Burmese junta is still tightening its grip on Aung San Suu Kyi. The former 76-year-old leader was sentenced this Monday, January 10 to four years in prison in one part of her trial, at the end of which she risks decades of detention. Under house arrest since the military coup of February 1, 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was notably found guilty of illegally importing walkie-talkies, notes a source familiar with the matter.

“Reinforce the anger”

According to the prosecution, this contraband material was discovered during the search carried out in the official residence of Aung San Suu Kyi during his arrest. Some members of this commando admitted not having been in possession of any warrant to carry out this raid, adds the source.

Also read: Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi, a first verdict to behead the opposition

Aung San Suu Kyi had already been sentenced in December to four years in prison for violating restrictions on the coronavirus, a sentence reduced to two years by the generals in power. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is serving this first sentence in the place where she has been held incommunicado since her arrest almost a year ago.

This new sentence “risks further reinforcing the anger of the Burmese population”, reacts Manny Maung, researcher for the NGO Human Rights Watch. “Everyone knows these accusations are false […] The soldiers use this tactic of fear to keep her in arbitrary detention ”and permanently remove her from the political arena, she adds.

Secrecy

Sedition, corruption, incitement to public unrest, or electoral fraud: the former leader has been indicted on multiple occasions in recent months. Her trial is being held behind closed doors before a specially set up court in the capital Naypyidaw, where she is being tried alongside one of her faithful, former President of the Republic Win Myint, also arrested on February 1.

Several relatives of the former leader have already been sentenced to heavy sentences: 75 years in prison for a former minister, 20 years for one of his collaborators. Others went into exile or went into hiding. The coup has plunged the country into chaos. Since then, hundreds of civilians have been killed by security forces and anti-junta citizen militias have taken up arms across Burma.

Also read: With general ulceration, Aung San Suu Kyi suffers the wrath of the Burmese junta

Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 15 years under house arrest under previous military dictatorships. Confined to her house by a lake in Yangon, she then addressed hundreds of supporters gathered on the other side of the fence in her garden. Today, his situation is radically different. Kept in secrecy, his contacts with the outside world were limited to brief meetings with his lawyers.

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