Crime & Justice

Myanmar junta’s delegation visits Aung San Suu Kyi in prison

Bangkok, Jun 12 (EFE).- A ministerial delegation of Myanmar’s military junta twice visited Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the ousted civilian government, over the past month to seek her cooperation in the fight against armed resistance.

As per reports across local media outlets, national security adviser Yar Pyae led the visits on May 27 and Jun. 4, while the delegation also included internal affairs minister Soe Htut, although both the military regime or Suu Kyi’s aides have not confirmed the meetings.

Suu Kyi was arrested by the military after a coup on Feb. 1, 2021, as they disrupted a decade-long transition process to democracy, and the leader has remained behind bars since then, hardly ever being allowed a public appearance.

During the junta’s unusual meetings with Suu Kyi, its delegates are believed to have sought her support in fighting against the rebels of the People’s Defence Force, which was set up after the coup and has gained ground against the military in recent months.

The PDF, which was joined by a large number of untrained youth, is the armed wing of the National Unity Government, formed by former lawmakers ousted by the military. The NUG claims to be the legitimate ruling authority of Myanmar.

Although they share common ground, the NUG and Suu Kyi’s party National League for Democracy maintain certain differences in principle, including on backing an armed struggle against the military.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi, 71, faces up to 11 years in prison after being convicted of all charges slapped against her after the coup, including corruption and illegal possession of walkie talkies.

She is also being tried for the alleged violation of the official secrets law – a crime that carries a maximum prison term of 14 years – and electoral fraud in the November 2020 elections, in which the NLD secured a landslide victory.

The alleged fraud was the excuse offered by the generals for carrying out the coup

Defense lawyers, barred by the military junta from speaking to the media, have dismissed all the charges against Suu Kyi.

The military coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis and has opened a spiral of violence.

More than 3,650 people have been killed since the coup in a brutal crackdown by security forces, according to the latest figures from nonprofit Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners. EFE

ak-pav/ia

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