Home SOCIETY GIST COMMUNITY GIST MYANMAR’S SUU KYI HIT WITH NEW CONVICTIONS, BAGS FOUR YEARS JAIL TERM

MYANMAR’S SUU KYI HIT WITH NEW CONVICTIONS, BAGS FOUR YEARS JAIL TERM

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By Aishat Momoh. O.

On Monday, a Myanmar military court found Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of three criminal offenses and sentenced her to four years in prison, the latest in a series of proceedings against the deposed democratic leader.

The Nobel Laureate has been jailed since February 1, when her administration was deposed in an early morning coup, putting an end to Myanmar’s brief democratic experiment.

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According to a local monitoring group, the generals’ power grab sparked widespread unrest, which security forces sought to quell with mass detentions and deadly crackdowns that murdered over 1,400 civilians.

The 76-year-old was found guilty of two offenses linked to unlawfully importing and owning walkie-talkies, as well as one charge of violating coronavirus guidelines, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Major General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesperson for the Junta, confirmed the judgments and punishments, telling AFP that Suu Kyi would remain under house arrest while other charges against her are heard.

Soldiers invaded her house on the day of the coup, purportedly uncovering the contraband equipment, which led to the walkie-talkie allegations.

Monday’s sentencing is in addition to the four-year sentence she received in December for inciting and violating Covid-19 guidelines while campaigning.

Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Junta, reduced the sentence to two years and stated she may serve her time in the capital, Naypyidaw, under house arrest.

– ‘Fear tactic’ – Following international condemnation of December’s verdict, the Myanmar public reverted to classic protest tactics of banging pots and pans in a show of rage.

Manny Maung, a Human Rights Watch researcher, predicted that more convictions would exacerbate nationwide discontent ahead of the verdict.

“The news of her latest conviction resulted in one of the highest days of social media engagements from inside Myanmar,” she told AFP.

“The military is using these (cases) as a terror tactic, but it simply helps to channel more public rage.”

“The military is using these (cases) as a terror tactic, but it simply helps to channel more public rage.”

Journalists are not allowed to attend hearings, and Suu Kyi’s lawyers are not allowed to speak to the press.

Suu Kyi was held under house arrest in her family mansion in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, during a former junta regime.

She is currently imprisoned in a secret location in the capital, with her only contact with the outside world being brief pre-trial consultations with her attorneys.

She is also charged with many charges of corruption, each of which carries a 15-year sentence, as well as breaking the official secrets act.

In November, she and 15 other officials, including Myanmar’s president Win Myint, were also charged with alleged electoral fraud during the 2020 polls.

Her National League for Democracy party had swept the elections in a landslide, trouncing a military-aligned party by a wider margin than the previous 2015 election.

Many of her political allies have been arrested since the coup, including one chief minister who was sentenced to 75 years in prison. Others have gone into hiding.

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