Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta open to Suu Kyi serving house arrest after trials

Bangkok, Aug 20 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta is open to allowing ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to return home to serve her sentences once all the trials against her in a junta court have been concluded, junta head Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said.

“Depending on the circumstances after the completion of the judiciary process, we will consider how to proceed,” General Min Aung Hlaing said with regard to the United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer’s request to allow the deposed leader to return home and hold a meeting with her, the official Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported Saturday.

The UN special envoy made the request during her meeting with General Hlaing in Naypyidaw on Wednesday.

In an unusual move and in response to the UN statement after the meeting, the junta published the alleged transcript of the dialog held between Hlaing and Heizer in the official newspaper.

Despite the myriad of cases against Suu Kyi, including serious charges of corruption, General Hlaing said that the authorities have been “lenient” with her.

He stressed that if she had “addressed the electoral fraud lawfully” – referring to the junta’s alleged reason for seizing power in a coup on Feb.1, 2021 -, “the current situation wouldn’t have happened.”

The various trials against Suu Kyi, which her legal team says have been fabricated by the military junta, are being held without any transparency.

Journalists have been barred from the proceedings and her lawyers gagged from speaking to the media.

During their conversation, in which Heyzer and Hlaing reviewed Myanmar’s problems during the last year-and-a-half, the UN special envoy also called for the release of Australian economist Sean Turnell, Suu Kyi’s former economic adviser who was imprisoned days after the coup.

“With regard to the case of Mr Sean Turnell, should the Australian Government takes positive steps, we will not need to take stern actions,” Hlaing replied about the economist, accused of violating the country’s official secrets act.

The UN special envoy, who according to the transcript released by the Myanmar state media described General Hlaing as “a kind-hearted person”, also asked him to put an end to aerial bombings and the burning of villages, denounced by several organizations.

The military has denied the reports, saying that the attacks have been directed against insurgents who attack security forces.

Regarding the recent executions of four activists, the first in the country in several decades, Hlaing said that they “were given sentences that they deserved.”

“Some of them have murdered four, five or six persons,” he said.

Hlaing claimed that the junta has “conducted necessary measures to pave the way for a multi-party democracy”, highlighted the peace process initiated this year with several armed ethnic groups and asked the UN to take into account the “stability” that, in his opinion, the military junta has achieved in the country.

The military coup has plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis while triggering a spiral of violence with the formation of new civilian militias that have exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare.

At least 2,227 people have died as a result of violent repression by security forces, according to data collected by the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE


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