Conflicts & War

Myanmar military junta confirms Suu Kyi’s imprisonment

Update 1: Adds junta confirmation of imprisonment, detail throughout

Bangkok, Jun 23 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta confirmed Thursday the entry into prison of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest since the February 2021 coup.

A statement released by military junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said Suu Kyi had been transferred to a prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, where “a separate place” had been prepared for her.

Suu Kyi, who has so far been sentenced to 11 years in prison for part of the charges filed by the military authorities, was informed Tuesday at one of the court hearings in which she participates weekly, according to local media.

The decision comes after hundreds of Myanmar protesters gathered Sunday in towns countrywide to ask for Suu Kyi’s release on the day she turned 77.

The Myanmar politician has been under house arrest since the coup in an undisclosed location by the junta in the capital and her contact with the outside world is limited to brief meetings with her lawyers at weekly hearings. It is unknown if she is aware of the grave crisis in his country.

Suu Kyi, who the United Nations and many worldwide governments called to have released, has been convicted of crimes including incitement against the military junta, violating anti-pandemic laws, illegal possession of communication devices and a corruption charge after several opaque judgments.

While she still faces a dozen accusations of corruption, she is punished with up to 15 years in prison, one charge for alleged electoral fraud and another for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Law, punishable by a maximum of 14 years in prison.

Suu Kyi’s lawyers, who have been banned by the military junta from speaking to the media, have previously called all the accusations leveled against her a fabrication.

The deposed leader, who spent 15 years under house arrest under the former military junta that dissolved in 2011, faces more than 100 years in jail on all charges against her.

In 2009, Suu Kyi spent fout months in prison after an American broke into her home where she was under house arrest, from which she was released in 2010.

The coup led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing put an end to the fragile democratic transition in Myanmar and plunged the country into a deep political, social and economic crisis. It opened a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated the guerrilla war that the country has been experiencing for decades.

The army justifies the coup on alleged massive fraud during the general elections of November 2020, whose result was annulled and in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015, with the endorsement of international observers.

More than 2,000 people, including some 140 minors, have died as a result of the brutal repression carried out by police and soldiers, who have even shot to kill peaceful and unarmed protesters, according to data collected by the Myanmar NGO Association for the Assistance of Political prisoners. EFE


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