Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi gets another three years in prison

Burma&nbsp ;: Aung San Suu Kyi receives an additional three years in prison

Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to 20 years in total.

The Burmese junta continues to charge Aung San Suu Kyi: the former leader was sentenced on Friday to an additional three years in prison for electoral fraud, during a river trial, denounced as political by the international community.

This umpteenth sentence comes with hard labor, said a source familiar with the matter, according to which the 77-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner appeared in good health in court.

She must now serve 20 years in prison, but she faces a total of more than 120 years, for the multiple offenses of which the junta accuses her.< /p>

The court found her guilty of fraud in the November 2020 legislative elections which her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), easily won.

This election served as justification for the generals during the February 1, 2021 coup, with the army claiming to have discovered more than 11 million irregularities.

Des International observers had nevertheless described the vote as representative of the will of the Burmese people.

I don't see Suu Kyi going to a labor camp, political analyst David Mathieson said. No act of violence or torture can be ruled out, and Suu Kyi is the sworn enemy whom the junta wants to humiliate and eradicate for good, he added.

Arrested at the time of the putsch, which ended a decade of democratic transition in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed in solitary confinement in a prison in Naypyidaw at the end of June.

It is in this prison in the capital that his trial continues, which began more than a year ago, behind closed doors, his lawyers being forbidden to speak to the press and international organisations.

“These closed hearings are inconclusive as to whether Aung San Suu Kyi's convictions are credible […] I expect her to be found guilty on the remaining counts.” x27;charge against her.

— Manny Maung, Country Specialist at Human Rights Watch

Ms. Suu Kyi was previously convicted of corruption, importation and illegal possession walkie-talkies, breaking coronavirus restrictions and inciting public disorder.

Many voices denounce a judicial harassment that would be motivated by political considerations: to permanently sideline the daughter of the hero of independence and the great winner of the 2015 and 2020 elections.

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Several of his relatives were also given heavy sentences. A former member of his party sentenced to death, Phyo Zeya Thaw, was executed at the end of July.

Protesters marched through the streets of Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw, to demand the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in the months following the coup, February 1, 2021 (archives).

The junta defends itself from these accusations, and even promises to open negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi once her trial is over.< /p>

Although we could have taken tougher actions, we are lenient with her, junta leader Min Aung Hlaing said in an August interview with the UN envoy, in remarks relayed by a state newspaper.

Aung San Suu Kyi remains a popular figure in Burma, even if her international image has been tarnished by her inability to defend the Muslim minority from Rohingyas, victims of army abuse in 2016 and 2017, a genocide according to Washington.

Special envoys from the UN and ASEAN were not allowed to see her during their last visit, a symbol of the failure of diplomatic efforts undertaken for several months, which have not brought Burma out of chaos.

The army hopes to hold elections in the summer of 2023, as soon as the country is peaceful and stable , according to Min Aung Hlaing, who also announced a reform of the electoral system.

The United States has already called on the international community not to support this project, an electoral sham, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The putsch plunged the country into chaos. Nearly 2,100 civilians have been killed by security forces and more than 15,000 arrested, according to a local NGO.

Burmese authorities also sentenced a former ambassador on Friday from the UK in Burma and her husband, an artist, to one year in prison for breaking the immigration law.

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