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Myanmar court jails Aung San Suu Kyi for six more years

August 15, 2022

The country's former leader was already serving an 11-year-long prison sentence on separate charges. Her lawyers have been prevented from discussing the trial.

A close-up shot of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2019
Aung San Suu Kyi has denied the charges leveled at her by the military-run governmentImage: Ann Wang/REUTERS

A court in Myanmar has sentenced the country's former leader Aung San Suu Kyi to an additional six years in prison on Monday, after it found her guilty of corruption charges.

The military-run government that ousted and then detained Suu Kyi in February 2021 alleged that she abused her position to rent public land at below-market prices, as well as building a home with donations meant for charitable purposes. Suu Kyi denied the charges.

The trial was held behind closed doors, without any access for the public or members of the press. Suu Kyi's lawyers were also prevented from discussing the proceedings due to a gag order.

Military crackdown continues

Suu Kyi has been the face of opposition to military rule in Myanmar for more than 30 years. At the previous election in 2020, her National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.

Her supporters and outside analysts say the charges are politically motivated in order to discredit her and legitimize last year's military coup.

More than 2,000 people have been killed and another 17,000 arrested in a crackdown on opposition and pro-democracy activists since the military takeover, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

The Nobel laureate had already been sentenced to 11 years in jail on a slew of charges including sedition and breaching pandemic restrictions. The new six-year sentence adds to this.

Additional charges for electoral fraud — which have not been backed up by independent analysis — could see her party disbanded ahead of next year's election.

In total, Suu Kyi faces charges with potential sentences totalling more than 150 years in prison.

zc/rt (Reuters, AP, AFP)