Conflicts & War

Son raises alarm over Suu Kyi’s incommunicado detention in Myanmar

By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela

Bangkok, Dec 18 (EFE).- Aung San Suu Kyi’s son says his mother, who is currently serving a 27-year jail sentence, has been held incommunicado since January in a prison in the Myanmar capital.

In an online interview with EFE from London, Kim Aris expressed his concern about the health of his 78-year-old mother, accusing Myanmar’s military rulers of keeping her in solitary confinement.

“As far as I know, the last time she had contact with her lawyers was back in January, and she has not had any contact outside the prison services and the military,” the youngest son of Suu Kyi and the late British historian Michael Aris told EFE.

Suu Kyi was arrested on the day of the Myanmar military coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

She has been given multiple prison sentences in a trial shrouded in mystery and criticized by the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN, and the European Union.

“(The military) have not allowed me to visit once, and they have not allowed me to communicate with her at all, which is a complete violation of her human rights,” said the activist, born in 1977 in Oxford, United Kingdom, and known as Htein Lin.

An exception to Suu Kyi’s isolation in prison was a visit in July by Thailand’s then-foreign minister, Don Pramudwinai, who said the jailed leader was in “good health.”

Aris said the visit by the Thai politician was exploited by the military junta for its propaganda, emphasizing that his mother is “practically isolated” and unable to interact with other prisoners.

Regarding the conflict in Myanmar, he expressed hope that the military junta would be defeated by pro-democratic forces.

Aris urged the international community to support rebels and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into the crisis-ridden country.

The Anglo-Burmese activist spent most of his childhood in the United Kingdom with his older brother, Alexander Aris, and his parents.

His life underwent a radical change when Suu Kyi left to care for her mother in Myanmar in 1988.

During that same year, Suu Kyi joined the pro-democracy movement against the then-military junta.

Her commitment was so profound that she chose not to leave the country, fearing she might be unable to return.

The decision prevented her from being with her husband when he died of cancer in 1999.

Aris was with his mother the first time the military placed her under house arrest, which lasted for 15 years between 1989 and 2010.

However, in the following decades, he only saw her on rare occasions.

“I realize that my mother had to make a very tough choice, leaving me here. And I am very proud of her for choosing to do what she has done,” he said about her political commitments.

He recalled how his mother spoke to him in Burmese when he was young. But he admitted that he can barely speak the language now.

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