According to a source with knowledge of the case, a court in military-run Myanmar has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to seven years in prison for corruption, putting an end to some covert and highly-politicized procedures against the deposed former leader.
The 77-year-old democratically elected icon of the resistance to decades of military dictatorship, who oversaw Myanmar for five years before being ousted from office in a bloody coup in early 2021, received his last sentence on Friday.
According to the source, the decision on Friday found Suu Kyi guilty of corruption in connection with the acquisition, maintenance, and renting of a helicopter for use in state activities and natural catastrophes, including rescues and crises.
According to the source, she now faces a total sentence of 33 years in prison, including three years of hard labor, and she could spend the rest of her life in prison. According to sources, Suu Kyi has previously been found guilty of several crimes, including electoral fraud and accepting bribes.
According to the source, she has consistently rejected all of the accusations made against her, and according to her attorneys, they are all politically driven.
She is detained in solitary confinement at a jail in the nation’s capital, Naypyidaw. Her trials have been held secret, with little information about them released by official media and her attorneys subjected to a gag order.
Since the army interfered to stop Suu Kyi from forming a new government, three months after her party was re-elected in a landslide election against military-backed opposition, Myanmar has been wracked by violence and an economic standstill.
Meanwhile, since the military took over, rights organizations have voiced recurrent worries about the country’s treatment of pro-democracy campaigners.
According to Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, “the convictions aim to both permanent sideline (Suu Kyi) as well as undercut and ultimately invalidate her NLD (National League for Democracy) party’s landslide victory in the November 2020 election.”
The junta “grabbed all it could to fabricate cases against her, fully confident that the kangaroo tribunals of the nation would deliver whatever harsh verdicts the military desired.”
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In its first resolution on the Southeast Asian nation since its independence, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) urged the military junta to free all political detainees, including Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint, last week.
Myanmar’s freedoms and rights have drastically declined in the two years since the military took over. State executions are now occurring again, and thousands of individuals have been detained for engaging in anti-military protests.
According to state media, the junta released more than 6,000 prisoners in November as part of an amnesty, including a former British ambassador, an economist from Australia, and a journalist from Japan. Following the harsh condemnation of the junta during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting, the pardons were issued.
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