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Myanmar's Suu Kyi jailed for 4 more years

January 10, 2022

Aung San Suu Kyi was convicted of three criminal charges. She is on trial for nearly a dozen cases that carry maximum sentences of more than 100 years in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Image: Koen van Weel/picture alliance /ANP

A Myanmar court on Monday sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has faced an onslaught of legal charges since being detained on February 1 last year after her government was overthrown in an early morning coup by the army.

What are the latest charges against Suu Kyi?

The 76-year-old was given a two-year sentence for breaching the export-import law by importing and owning walkie-talkies, and one year for having a set of signal jammers.

Both sentences will run concurrently.

These charges stem from when her house was raided on the day of the coup.

The court also handed down a further two-year sentence for breaching the natural disaster management law related to coronavirus rules while campaigning.

Suu Kyi was convicted last month on two other charges — incitement and breaching COVID-19 restrictions — for which she was given four years in jail.

The head of the country's military junta Min Aung Hlaing later halved that sentence and said she could serve her term under house arrest in the capital Naypyidaw.

All the charges against her together carry a maximum sentence of more than 100 years.

What are the reactions to Suu Kyi's sentence?

Suu Kyi's supporters say the charges against her are baseless and contrived to end her political career while legitimizing the military takeover.

"The Myanmar junta's courtroom circus of secret proceedings on bogus charges is all about steadily piling up more convictions against Aung San Suu Kyi so that she will remain in prison indefinitely," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch. 

The Nobel committee said the convictions were "politically motivated."

Tin Tin Nyo, head of news organization Burma News International, told DW the charges were designed to keep Aung San Suu Kyi from power.

"This is not a surprise at all. The military regime is trying every possible way to lock down Aung San Suu Kyi away from Burmese politics," she said. "These are all excuses."

"We are not surprised but we are very sad that one of the leaders of our country are being kept away from us and from the people of Burma who are now being attacked and killed daily."

How the coup has unfolded

The military has led a brutal crackdown against anti-coup protesters who carried out nationwide nonviolence demonstrations.

The security forces quashed the protests with deadly force, killing over 1,400 civilians, according to a detailed list compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The military has also not disclosed where Suu Kyi is being detained.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing last month said both Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint would remain in the same location during their trials and would not be sent to prison.

adi/rt (AFP; Reuters, AP)