More Bad News for Suu Kyi

Ousted leader sentenced to 3 more years for election fraud conviction
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2022 8:11 AM CST
Updated Sep 2, 2022 1:41 AM CDT
Suu Kyi Sentenced to 4 More Years in Prison
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2019. A Myanmar court on Jan. 10, 2022, sentenced her to 4 more years after finding her guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

Update: A court in Myanmar on Friday sentenced the country’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to three years' imprisonment after finding her guilty of involvement in election fraud, the AP reports. The ruling adds more jail time to the 17 years she is already serving for other offenses. It also imperils the survival of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party following the government’s explicit threats to dissolve it before a new election the military has promised will take place in 2023. Suu Kyi’s party won the the 2020 general election in a landslide victory. The military seized power from Suu Kyi’s elected government on Feb. 1, 2021, saying it acted because of alleged widespread voter fraud. Independent election observers did not find any major irregularities. Our original story from Jan. 10 follows:

A Myanmar court sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four more years in prison on Monday after finding her guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions, reports the AP. Suu Kyi was convicted last month on two other charges and given a four-year prison sentence, which was then halved by the head of the military-installed government. The cases are among about a dozen brought against the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate since the army seized power last February, ousting her elected government and arresting top members of her National League for Democracy party. If found guilty of all the charges, she could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. Suu Kyi’s supporters and independent analysts say the charges against her are contrived to legitimize the military’s seizure of power and prevent her from returning to politics.

Since her first guilty verdict, Suu Kyi has been held by the military at an unknown location. “The Myanmar junta’s courtroom circus of secret proceedings on bogus charges is all about steadily piling up more convictions against Aung San Suu Kyi so that she will remain in prison indefinitely. ... The junta leaders obviously still view her as a paramount political threat who needs to be permanently neutralized," said the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. Suu Kyi was charged after the military’s takeover with having improperly imported the walkie-talkies after the radios were seized from the entrance gate of her residence and the barracks of her bodyguards on Feb. 1. Suu Kyi’s lawyers argued that the radios were not in her personal possession and were legitimately used for her security, but the court declined to dismiss the charges. She was charged with two counts of violating coronavirus restrictions during campaigning for the 2020 election. She was found guilty on the first count last month.

(More Aung San Suu Kyi stories.)

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