Myanmar – On Monday, a Myanmar military court found Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of three criminal offenses and sentenced her to four years in jail, the latest in a series of proceedings against the deposed democratic leader.
The Nobel Laureate has been jailed since February 1, when her administration was deposed in a coup, putting an end to Myanmar’s brief democratic rule.
According to a local monitoring organization, the generals’ coup d’etat sparked widespread unrest, which security forces tried to crush with mass detentions and violent crackdowns that murdered over 1,400 people.
The 76-year-old was found guilty of two offenses linked to unlawfully importing and possessing walkie-talkies, as well as one charge of violating coronavirus guidelines, according to a source familiar with the case.
The military invaded her residence on the day of the coup, purportedly uncovering the illicit equipment, which led to the walkie-talkie allegations.
Monday’s sentencing is in addition to the four-year term she received in December for inciting and violating Covid-19 guidelines while campaigning.
Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the Junta, reduced the sentence to two years and stated she may spend her time in the capital, Naypyidaw, under house arrest.
The verdict in December received worldwide outrage, prompting the Myanmar populace to return to traditional protest methods like as banging pots and pans in a display of rage.
Manny Maung, a Human Rights Watch researcher, predicted that further convictions will increase public resentment ahead of the ruling.
“The military is using these (cases) as a fear tactic, but it simply helps to channel more public rage.”
Journalists are not allowed to attend proceedings, and Suu Kyi’s attorneys are not allowed to talk to the press.
Suu Kyi was held under house arrest at her family residence in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, under a former military rule.
She is now imprisoned in a secret location in the capital, with her only contact with the outside world being short pre-trial consultations with her attorneys.
She is also charged with many charges of corruption, each of which carries a 15-year sentence, as well as breaking the official secrets act.