Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta ‘risking Suu Kyi’s life,’ says her party

Bangkok, Sep 14 (EFE).- Deposed de-facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party on Thursday said the country’s military junta is not providing her with adequate medical care, putting her life at risk.

The NLD, which was dissolved by the junta after it seized power in its Feb. 1, 2021 coup, said in a statement that 78-year-old Suu Kyi was being detained in “secret places” without being given any of the rights of a political prisoner.

“In addition, we are particularly concerned that she is not receiving adequate medical care and they are not providing healthy food nor accommodation sufficiently with the intention to risk her life,” the party said.

“If Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s health is not only impaired, but her life also is endangered, the military junta is solely responsible.”

The NLD swept the November 2020 election and the military claimed the poll was fraudulent as a pretext for carrying out its coup.

The statement urged the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations and international organizations to increase pressure on the junta for the release of all political prisoners.

The complaint of Suu Kyi’s party, which led the democratic transition in Myanmar during the decade prior to the coup, joins that of her son Kim Aris, who lives in London and who told The Independent that the military regime has refused to provide medical treatment to the Nobel laureate.

The 46-year-old said his mother has gum disease, leaving her unable to eat due to pain, as well as bouts of vomiting and severe dizziness.

Uncertainty about the physical condition of Suu Kyi was also part of the conversations during the summit of ASEAN (which includes Myanmar and nine other Southeast Asian countries) leaders last week in Jakarta.

During a press briefing, the United States’ assistant secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, said that “concerns about her treatment and her status and her health, opposition to the continued unacceptable detention of Aung San Suu Kyi was discussed this week in various venues.”

Suu Kyi is serving a 27-year prison sentence imposed in an opaque judicial process since the military coup.

Since she was detained on the same day the military, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, seized power, she has only been seen once, in a court appearance, while the junta has banned her lawyers from speaking to the press.

Suu Kyi, who already spent 15 years of house arrest under the previous military junta, denies all charges, and various countries and organizations such as the US, the United Kingdom, Japan, the European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have demanded her immediate release.

She was one of the world’s democracy icons, but in 2019 came under fire internationally for her defense of Myanmar and her government against allegations of genocide by the military against the minority Muslim Rohingya population.

The coup d’état plunged Myanmar into serious political and social crises that has left much of the country in chaos, with violent clashes between the junta forces and their opponents and a crackdown by security forces against any form of dissent. EFE


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