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Myanmar: four more years in detention for Aung San Suu Kyi

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The Nobel Peace Prize winner, under house arrest since the military coup of February 1, 2021, was notably found guilty of illegally importing walkie-talkies, according to a source familiar with the matter.

It’s a political judgment, lamented the Norwegian Nobel Committee, deeply worried about his situation.

Aung San Suu Kyi, 76, had already been sentenced in December to four years in prison for violating restrictions on the coronavirus, a sentence reduced to two years by the generals in power.

She is serving this first sentence in the place where she has been held incommunicado since her arrest, almost a year ago.

A spokesman for the junta, Major General Zaw Min Tun, confirmed to theFrance Media Agency Monday’s verdict, specifying that Ms. Suu Kyi would remain under house arrest for the duration of her trial.

“Everyone knows these accusations are false”

This new conviction is a snub to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which unsuccessfully tries to engage in dialogue in Myanmar, reacted Debbie Stothard, of the Non-governmental organization Alternative ASEAN Network on Myanmar.UN, the United States andEU, new sanctions must be imposed against the economic interests of the generals “,” text “:” The bloc must coordinate more with the UN, the United States and the EU, new sanctions must be imposed against the economic interests generals “}}”>The bloc must coordinate more with theUnited Nations Organization, the United States andEuropean Union, new sanctions must be imposed against the economic interests of the generals.

For Manny Maung, Non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch, this verdict may further fuel the anger of the Burmese population.

Everyone knows these accusations are false […] The military uses this fear tactic to keep her in arbitrary detention and definitely remove it from the political arena, according to the researcher.

Sedition, corruption, incitement to public unrest, electoral fraud … Aung San Suu Kyi has been indicted on multiple occasions in recent months.

Her trial is being held behind closed doors before a court set up specially in the capital Naypyidaw, where she is being tried alongside one of her faithful, the former President of the Republic Win Myint, also arrested on February 1, 2021. .

Several relatives of the former leader have already been sentenced to heavy sentences: 75 years in prison for a former minister, 20 years for one of his collaborators. Others went into exile or went into hiding.

The coup has plunged the country into chaos. More than 1,400 civilians have been killed by security forces, according to a Non-governmental organization local, and anti-junta citizen militias have taken up arms across Myanmar.

A wounded protester lies on the ground, while another is guided away by a soldier.

An injured protester lies on the ground, while another is arrested by a soldier, during a protest against the junta’s coup on December 5, 2021.

Photo: afp via getty images

The judgment pronounced Monday concerned in particular the illegal importation of walkie-talkies. According to the prosecution, this contraband material was discovered during the search carried out in the official residence of Aung San Suu Kyi during his arrest.

Some members of this commando admitted not having been in possession of any warrant to carry out this raid, according to a source familiar with the matter.

A beloved icon, but a fading star

Aung San Suu Kyi’s political influence has greatly diminished since the putsch, with a new generation taking up arms against the junta and having more progressive views.

This icon of democracy during her years under house arrest under previous military dictatorships, daughter of independence hero Aung San, still has a special place in the hearts of the Burmese.

The conviction handed down in December had caused floods of protests on social networks, recalls Manny Maung.

The Nobel Prize lives cut off from the world, her only links with the outside world being limited to brief meetings with her lawyers, who are forbidden to speak to the press and to international organizations.

At least 175 people, including many members of his party, the National League for Democracy (LND), are believed to have died in detention, most likely as a result of ill-treatment or torture, denounced in early December the High Commissioner for Human Rights of theUnited Nations Organization, Michelle Bachelet.

The generals justified their passage in force by alleging massive frauds during the elections of 2020, won massively by the National League for Democracy. They promised to organize a new ballot in 2023.

Ms. Suu Kyi, already sentenced to six years of detention, will therefore not be able to participate if it actually takes place.

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