Myanmar’s former Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to seven years in prison again by a military court in Myanmar. His total jail term now stands at 33 years. BBC news.
The country’s former democratically elected leader has been under house arrest since a military coup ousted his government in February 2021. He has since faced an 18-month trial on 19 charges.
The UN Security Council called for his release last week.
He was arraigned on the final five charges on Friday. A court found him guilty of corruption for allegedly chartering a helicopter for a government minister without following rules.
He has already been convicted of 14 different offences, including violating the Covid Public Safety Act, importing walkie-talkies and violating the Government Secrets Act.
His trial this year was held behind closed doors with public and media access restricted. Even his lawyers have been barred from speaking to reporters. He has denied all the allegations leveled against him.
The 77-year-old Nobel laureate spent most of his time under house arrest in the capital Naypyidaw.
According to the Aid to Political Prisoners (Burma), more than 16,600 members of Suu Kyi and her party have been detained by the junta since her ouster. Among them, 13 thousand people are in prison.
Last week the UN Security Council called for an end to violence in Myanmar and the release of all political prisoners. China and Russia abstained from voting on the resolution and did not use their veto power after the amendment to the resolution’s wording.
Amnesty International has previously said the ‘relentless legal attack’ on Suu Kyi demonstrates how the military has ‘used the courts as a weapon to bring politically motivated or farcical charges against opponents’.
A violent military takeover last February sparked mass protests, prompting Myanmar’s military to crack down on pro-democracy protesters and activists.
This situation triggered renewed internal fighting between separate ethnic rebel groups. The country’s civilian forces continue to resist the military and junta rulers.
The junta has been accused of extrajudicial killings and airstrikes on civilian villages. It is believed that more than 2,600 people have been killed so far in the army’s crackdown on dissent.