Conflicts & War

ASEAN envoy for Myanmar calls for release of Suu Kyi from prison

Bangkok, Jun 27 (EFE).- ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, urged the military junta to release Nobel Peace laureate and deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi from prison.

The 77-year old politician, sentenced to 11 years in prison by the junta, was transferred in the middle of last week to a prison in Naypyidaw after being held under house arrest in an unknown location since being ousted by the military coup on Feb.1 2021.

Sokhonn urged the military junta “to exercise compassion and facilitate the return of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to the home where she was previously detained, in consideration of her fragile health and well-being,” said a statement Monday by the Cambodian government, which currently holds the rotating char of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The spokesperson of the military junta, Zaw Min Tun, confirmed to EFE that Suu Kyi has been put under solitary confinement isolated from the rest of the inmates.

The special envoy is scheduled to visit Myanmar this week, where the military spokesperson said “he could meet with members of the toppled National League for Democracy,” the party headed by Suu Kyi.

This would be the Cambodian minister’s second visit since he took office earlier this year with the aim of pushing forward the five consensus points reached in April 2021 between the bloc’s leaders and coup general Min Aung Hlaing to achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis in Myanmar.

“Suu Kyi is regarded internationally and by many in Myanmar as having a critical role in your country’s return to normalcy and national reconciliation through a peaceful political solution,” underlined Sokhonn.

He also called on the military regime to initiate dialogue with all parties involved in the conflict, including Suu Kyi and her supporters.

Suu Kyi also faces a dozen charges of corruption or violation of the official secrets law, for which, if found guilty, she could face an accumulated sentence of more than 150 years in prison.

According to political experts, the current military junta seeks to ensure that Suu Kyi – who has already lived under house arrest for more than 15 years and for several months in prison during the previous military junta (1962-2011) – does not return to the political arena.

Last year’s coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social, and economic crisis, while opening a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated the country’s decades-old guerrilla war.

At least 2,021 people have died as a result of brutal repression by police and soldiers, who have shot to kill peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, according to data collected by the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE


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