A local court in the Myanmarese capital of in Naypyidaw sentenced noted Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in jail on Monday.
Senior Military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun has informed the press that the court found Suu Kyi guilty of incitement and of violating COVID-19 rules. He claimed that 76-year-old Suu Kyi would have to serve two years jail-term on each of the two charges. Apart from the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former President of Myanmar Win Myint was also sentenced to four-year in prison under the same charges.
According to the military spokesperson, both Suu Kyi and Myint would not be taken to prison. "They will face other charges from the places where they are staying now," stressed Min Tun.
Meanwhile, the Military rulers of Myanmar did not allow Suu Kyi's lawyers to talk to the media, triggering a fresh controversy. It may be noted that Monday's ruling is the first in dozen cases brought against Suu Kyi by the Military Regime, which had overthrown her Civilian Government in a coup on February 1. Suu Kyi, the former State Counsellor who also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2021, is facing multiple charges of corruption, violations of a State Secrets Act, and a Telecoms Law. These charges carry a maximum sentence of more than a century in prison, together.
As expected, Suu Kyi has denied all the charges, with her supporters claiming that all the cases against her are baseless. They have claimed that the Military Junta wants to end her political career, and to consolidate power in the troubled South-east Asian nation. Soon after the court announced its verdict, Malaysian legislator and Chair of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) Charles Santiago condemned the sentence, stressing that it was a "travesty of justice". He also said: "Since the day of the coup, it's been clear that the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, and the dozens of other detained MPs, have been nothing more than an excuse by the Junta to justify their illegal power grab." Santiago urged the 10-member regional bloc to "hold the line against this illegal takeover".
Myanmar has been going through a political turmoil since the February coup, as the nation has experienced protests staged by the common people. The situation worsened after the Military Junta launched attacks on opponents, calling them "terrorists". In its latest report, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has mentioned that at least 1,303 people have been killed in the last nine months. Experts are of the opinion that Suu Kyi's jail term will further destabilize Myanmar.