Crime & Justice

Suu Kyi prison sentence reduced by Myanmar junta

(Update 2: re-ledes, changes headline)

Bangkok Desk, Dec 6 (EFE).- Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi had her prison sentence reduced to two years by the military junta on Monday, hours after a court had handed her a four-year term in the first verdicts of a series of charges she faces since her arrest during February’s military coup.

State-run MRTV said Monday night that Suu Kyi will spend two years under arrest in her current detention center, a reduced sentence after the leader of the military junta Min Aung Hlaing granted her a partial pardon.

The 76-year-old had been sentenced to two years in jail for incitement and two years for violating Covid-19 protocols under the Disaster Management Law, a source close to the case told Efe.

Deposed president Win Myint was also given four years under the same charges, and former Naypyidaw mayor Myo Aung was sentenced to two years for incitement, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.

Around a dozen charges have been filed by the military junta against the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, including allegations of corruption, unlawful possession of walkie-talkies and violating the Official Secrets Act, all punishable by various lengths of time in jail.

She denies all charges, but little is known about the closed-door proceedings. In October, her lawyers were issued with gag orders forbidding them from releasing information.

“The harsh sentences handed down to Aung San Suu Kyi on these bogus charges are the latest example of the military’s determination to eliminate all opposition and suffocate freedoms in Myanmar,” Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said in a statement after the verdicts.

“There are many detainees without the profile of Aung San Suu Kyi who currently face the terrifying prospect of years behind bars simply for peacefully exercising their human rights. They must not be forgotten and left to their fate.”

Malaysia member of parliament and chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Charles Santiago, said the rulings were a “travesty of justice.”

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